Target does it again, with another high-low collaboration. The superstore will team up with luxury fashion designer Prabal Gurung for a collection due in stores Feb. 10.
Target’s first designer collaboration was with Issac Mizrahi in 2003, initiating the store’s economic, high-fashion partnerships with luxury brands including Rodarte, Missoni and Jason Wu.
“Most of these promotional sales do really well. Jason Wu sold out quickly, and a lot of customers left with several items from the collection,” said Brian Jablonski, store team leader for Target on Archer Road.
Similar to Jason Wu’s swift sale last year, Missoni’s release in 2011 was characterized by long lines, sellouts and online traffic so heavy it crashed Target’s website, according to Time Magazine.
However, Gurung’s collection follows the first majorly unsuccessful collaboration with Neiman Marcus.
The 50-piece holiday gift line, which included fashion giants such as Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs and Marchesa, did not sell as much as expected. Critics called the presentation sloppy, and the items cheap and overpriced, leading to what Time Magazine dubbed an “epic retail fail.”
In the first week of January, Target still carried items from the line at 70 percent off.
Fashionista.com reports that the primary reason the collection was such a dud is that most Target shoppers had no idea what it was about or who was involved.
“I didn’t hear about it at all, but I would have shopped the collection,” said Yamila Gottig, a 20-year-old public relations junior. “I really didn’t know that Target was a carrier for high-fashion clothing.”
Does this mean that the Prabal Gurung collaboration will be similar to the Neiman Marcus flop?
Although the designer did have some items in the failed collection, this won’t necessarily be true.
The fashion world buzzed with interest when Gurung’s line was announced in October.
In a Target promotional interview, Gurung said he put a lot of love into the collection — literally. The bright and multi-colored floral-print jackets, skirts and dresses are all said to be inspired by love and Valentine’s Day.
“If they can feel even a little bit of the love that I felt when I was designing this, I’ll consider it a job well done,” Gurung said.