by Beth Hammarlund
Talk about teamwork! Yesterday news broke of Target’s next designer collaboration, and not only is the discount retailer partnering with luxury department store Neiman Marcus, 24 designers are expected to contribute pieces for the collection. They range from Marc Jacobs to Thom Browne. Judith Leiber to Rag & Bone. Seriously guys, this* is about as comprehensive a designer list as you can get.
All designers are members of the CFDA, so I must admit that I was a little bummed not to see the Row or Elizabeth and James on the list after Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s big win in June, but they already have a juniors line with JCPenney and I wouldn’t be surprised if their contract limited their other brands’ potential partnerships with other retailers.
Target has partnered with some pretty epic designers in the past, but the majority of their collaborations have been focused on juniors’ fashion, except for Missoni, which included clothing for women, men and children, as well as décor and home goods. Even a bike.
Though this designer roster is an incredible coup for Target, perhaps the most shocking twist is the partnership with Neiman Marcus. The Dallas-based department store is notoriously picky about maintaining its luxury branding, but in this collaboration, pieces from the collection will be available at both Target and Neiman Marcus, as well as on both company’s websites.
Though Target’s recent collaboration with fashion phenom Jason Wu released some fantastic dresses (which were all sold out almost immediately – thanks for nothing, Target!) and the retailer’s collaboration with Missoni managed to crash their website, I have to say that my excitement for designer collaborations had been waning. When Target first rolled out its GO International limited-edition collections with the likes of Luella Bartley, I was practically in a frenzy. Despite some serious beatings, the skull and heart print shoulder bag from the collection is still my official laptop bag, and will be until it falls apart.
Even when it became apparent that this recession was, in fact, our country’s second economic depression, and that we were stuck in multiple wars with no end in sight, I still viewed designer collaborations with discount retailers as something to be excited about. Designer fashion for the masses? Yes, please! That will cheer me right up! And guys, I’m not even being sarcastic. I honestly felt that it was an accessible way for average Americans to experience a taste of the luxury that the top one percent enjoys. But as the years passed my enthusiasm waned, until I eventually paid little to no attention at all. (Except for Jason Wu. The guy’s a wunderkind!)
But this announcement of large-scale designer and retailer cooperation has piqued my interest. Maybe this collaboration is the collection that will get me excited about shopping again. It certainly has the talent behind it. I might even hit Target up on opening day this December.
Oh, and Target, can you re-release my Luella bag? Please?
*The full list of designers: Alice + Olivia, Altuzarra, Band of Outsiders, Brian Atwood, Caroline Herrera, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Eddie Borgo, Jason Wu, Judith Leiber, Lela Rose, Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Philip Crangi, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Rag & Bone, Robert Rodriguez, Rodarte, Skaist-Taylor, Thom Browne, Tory Burch, and Tracy Reese.