Neiman Marcus and Target Collection

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I am a huge, huge, huge fan of Target (I'm actually surprised this doesn't come across more than it might on the blog), and I've been following their designer collaborations through the years, since the Go International campaign began with Fiorucci and Luella Bartley. I'm not a fashionista or anything like it, but having some interesting or at least less-Target-esque designs for reasonable prices every once in a while had a certain appeal. I tried to keep up with the campaign by buying at least one piece from each collaboration, but I failed pretty miserably as I watched the designs and pieces become more and more banal.

In 2010, Target ended the campaign and Go International was eventually replaced with something called The Shops at Target (but not before the Missoni fiasco), a set of mini-collaborations from a small set of shops (clothing, accessories, furniture, etc.) around the U.S. Though there have only been two installments of The Shops at Target, I'm sensing that it's largely been a failure for Target. Items that would have sold out almost immediately as part of Go International hang around on clearance at retail shops, and online for much more than they should cost.

So I felt a little flutter in my heart when I read that Target was pairing up with Neiman Marcus for a holiday designer collaboration, coinciding with the 50th CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) anniversary. A mini Go International again?

Not quite. Here are some of my favorites in the upcoming holiday collection:

This Marchesa dress ($99.99) is adorable, right? I was beginning to scheme of ways I could get away with wearing something like this when I realized that it's a girls' dress. I can still get away with buying the XXL size in girls', but knowing that it's not meant for adults really stops my train dead in its tracks. Sigh.

A Thom Browne pure wool blazer (the men's section has its own version of this blazer) is $129.99. Too bad I already have so many blazers ...

This Oscar de la Renta tote ($59.99) looks pretty darn elegant ... it's coated canvas, but white, so make of that what you will.

When I saw Alice + Olivia's name on this list, I was really, really hoping for a Target version of one of their famously cute frocks. Alas, my Christmas wish wasn't granted. Alice + Olivia are offering this $499.99 bicycle and $179.99 striped carry-on spinner instead.

Of all the designers, I feel like Jason Wu, Marchesa, Lela Rose and Tracy Reese may have put the most heart into their collections. This Jason Wu ornament set ($49.99) isn't cheap, but at least it's pleasing to the eye and a little different from what's out there.

Also part of Jason's collection are two girls' dresses ($59.99) -- one in crimson and the other in a khaki and white polka dot pattern. Very cute.

Now, for the bad and the utterly useless ...

What's been going on with Marc Jacobs? For much of my college and post-college years, I cited Marc Jacobs as my favorite designer (if I were to have one) because of his quirky appeal and bold use of color. Over the past few years, it seems his quirk has wilted to something more akin to an uninspired recycling of old designs with splashes of clay-like colors ... or colors you'd find at the bottom of your cereal bowl or garbage can. For his Target collaboration, he seems to pull from his perennial "Special Items" collection with the leather pouches ($69.99 a piece), and wow, a black wool-cashmere blend scarf ($69.99). Yawn ... although it is a sad little yawn.

This item I'm more amused by than anything else. rag & bone nickel-plated shot glasses ($19.99 for the set). But why? They have that sort of industrial early 00s chic to them, I guess. rag & bone is also offering a stainless steel flask ($29.99 ... alcoholics, are we?) and wool-cotton cozy grandpa sweaters for the men and boys ($69.99 and $49.99, respectively).

I'm not really sure who Judith Leiber is, but the only item she's contributed to the collection is this crystal-comprised mirror in 6 different designs (??? ... they're $59.99 a piece). I don't know about you, but they just look like a heavier version of this pink glitter mirror compact someone got for free then gave me when I was about 14.

Last, but not least, is this neoprene iPad sleeve by Proenza Schouler ($39.99). Target had to add a little ® following its use of the word iPad. Maybe I should too, ha. Proenza Schouler did a pretty successful Go International collaboration in the past, but I mean ... I'm sure this design appeals to somebody out there ... All I'm seeing is a bunch of drink stains, followed by darker black-colored drink stains created by rims of leaky cups. A matching sweatshirt can be had for just $29.99!

Overall, I'm pretty disappointed. But Neiman Marcus and Target will donate $1 million in sales to the CFDA, which might explain some of the relatively high price tags on these items. What do you think of the pieces? (You can view the entire collection here).

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  1. We have target here too but I don't think there are many collaborations here. I can never own a white bag. I'm forever afraid I will stain it. I don't know why but I really like the bicycle.
    The collection is quite boring.



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