Target has a long history of collaborating with high-end fashion designers, starting with the likes of Cynthia Rowley in 2002 and Isaac Mizrahi in 2003. The collaborations were quite risky, both for Target and the designers.
At the time, Target was a store known for home goods, groceries, and at best “mom jeans”. The designers were risking their reputation. After all, high fashion isn’t particularly known for embracing mass production and being accessible.
Rowley’s first foray with Target consisted of items such as bedding, arguably more home goods and less high fashion. Mizrahi’s collection consisted of clothes and was a huge hit.
Suddenly, the average suburban girl was donning designer labels she was likely to have only seen on television or in magazines. The investment paid off and Target and designers alike have not looked back since.
Young and sought after designers like Jason Wu and Prabal Gurung, as well as the department store giant Neiman Marcus have successfully worked with the Target Corporation.
It remains to be seen whether mass production and lower prices will diminish the “cool factor” of these brands. For now, the folks at Target are mastering the art of making the exclusive available to the masses. This model is also in effect in their beauty department with brands such as Boots & No. 7 from the U.K. as well as the newly added Korean skincare line, Laneige.