Target stores are typically known for low prices, groceries, household goods, perhaps even their emblazened red bulls-eye logo. They now introduce premier designers: Thakoon, Zac Posen, Proenza Schouler, Missoni. This combination seems absolutely absurd, but it is in fact the GO International Collect at Target, and it has proven to be ingenious.
In 2006 Target introduced the first “GO” collection. The premise was simple- designer clothes at Target prices. The question was: would there be a market for such a concept and would enough high-end designers be interested in working with this superstore?
Over 5 years later, on what reporters have coined Target’s “Black Tuesday”, I find myself in a crowd of eager women of all ages and backrounds, outside the closed doors of Target on City Line Ave. A news camera is there taking in the chaos and attempting to interview customers. But no one will oblige because it is 7:58 AM and the doors are about to open. It’s 8 o’clock, there is a mad rush for the door, and mayhem ensues inside: women grabbing every item off the rack, tearing open shipping boxes that have yet to be unpacked, women sprinting up and down isles in an attempt to locate specific items, and bartering with other women for items they fail to find on shelves. You may be wondering what on earth I am talking about. What does this personal account describe? This is Missoni for Target.
Missoni, an Italian fashion house, founded in 1953, is the most recent designer featured at Target and without a doubt has created the most buzz. If my personal story did not convince you than ponder this; for nearly 24 hours, the day the collection launched, the Target site crashed due to too much web activity. By mid-afternoon there were 3000+ posts on Ebay advertising Missoni for Target, and Target stores nationwide were nearly entirely sold out by closing that day (a New York City store reported being sold out within 15 minutes of opening their doors.)
People argue that the “GO” Collection compromises the luxury aspect of the designer’s products and the lack of exclusivity damages the reputation of the brand. I do not think that this idea is untrue or wrong but I feel obligated to argue against it. Products included in the “GO” collections are not by any means luxury products at rock bottom prices. They are not made with the same high quality materials or craftsmanship as the designer’s original line. The “Go” Collection is an opportunity for designers to incorporate less expensive materials and tactics into their designs and provide for the masses, while simultaneously enlarging both their customer and fan base. The reality of fashion is not on a Paris runway, or in Vogue, or even on display at Barney’s New York. Fashion is on the streets in every imaginable demographic.
The “GO” Collection sparked a new wave of fashion which makes it accessible to all who love it and live for it. So tomorrow when I rush down Locust Walk to class, I will proudly flaunt my new Missoni for Target dress and if you were lucky enough to get your hands on one of these sought after (and now completely sold out) items, I suggest you do the same!