Designers for Target: Good idea or bad idea?
Even if you aren’t the least bit interested in fashion, you’ve likely heard of the whole Missoni for Target mess. Even the New York Times featured an article in which marketing execs called the execution a total fail. How could a brand as major as Target not anticipate the blood-lust-want from hungry fashionistas? How could the website of a massive retailer be down for HOURS? How could such limited supply be stocked?
Needless to say, there’s been plenty of outrage.
I didn’t even bother. For whatever reason, this latest Target designer collaboration just didn’t do it for me. Sure, the bike and the zig zag wellies would have been cute, but I definitely wasn’t waiting hours in line, or scouring eBay for these finds which are now being sold for almost as much as their luxury counterparts.
I love a good Target designer collaboration; I’ve picked up some Zac Posen for Target and Lanvin for H&M too. But I wonder, are these collaborations really good for designers?
Luxury designs are luxury for a reason: you pay for what you get. This means talented designs, high-end fabrics and often items that are handmade. With a Target collaboration, you’re getting the designer name. Maybe even the talent behind it. But part of what makes these garments so amazing is the fabrics and time invested to put them together. There’s a reason Forever 21 tops fall apart after just a few washes. Which leads me to a few questions:
Are designers just out to make a quick buck?
Obviously, the economy sucks. People aren’t dropping thousands on the “IT” bag like they used to. Is this the designer’s version of “selling out”, just to make investors happy?
Do they value their own work?
I may have loathed the Kardashian’s for BEBE collaboration, but it looked and felt like them. As in, I could see the girls wearing it, and enjoying it. For real fashion designers, however, who are trained in working with the best people and the best materials, can they honestly look at a Target-produced dress and say, “I’m proud of this!” “I’d definitely wear this out in public!”?
Does it devalue the cache of their current work?
If I can get Rodarte, Lanvin, Zac Posen, Missoni and other designers at a fraction of the price, why would I bother to pay 4 times as much for their luxury collections?
I can pick up a Missoni for Target scarf, starting at $38.
I can also get a real Missoni scarf, starting at $138.
Fashion for the masses
My last question: you could argue it’s always an avenue to introduce high-end fashion to the masses. A way to bring in new consumers and introduce someone to the brand. But wouldn’t the point of luxury and high-end fashion be moot if it was accessible to everyone? And are you really gaining “new” consumers or hungry Target fashionistas?
What do you guys think? Is designing for Target a good idea or bad idea?