No apologies from me when I say fashion design house Missoni and Target Store prove the point of why I began writing this blog. There exists a now obvious truth to what I have to say about luxury through economy. Regardless of how you see people dress in the workplace or on the street there harbors a desire in most to present themselves in high style but the budget is the only issue that stands in the way. This is also why vintage clothing has a loyal following. Vintage clothes (click) and accessories offer classic, timeless style, solid workmanship and affordability.
Target Corporation has a history of offering a limited edition apparel line from a guest fashion designer. Past associations have included Isaac Mizrahi, Jean Paul Gaultier and even the British "L'Enfant terrible" (bad boy) Alexander McQueen with his McQ secondary line. The Missoni/Target launch was Tuesday September 13, 2011. Merchandise was not limited to women's, men's and children's apparel; the line included dinnerware, glassware (click), bedding, small furniture, iPhone covers (click), picture frames, a full sized bicycle (click) and even a patio furniture set (click). You could purchase the entire Missoni LIFE-Style. The buying fervor was so fierce it crashed the Target website for most of the day. I signed onto their website by 9am Wednesday morning and even with limited online access it appeared approximately 80% of stock had already sold out. One published report says a Washington DC store sold out of their inventory in 30 minutes. I decided to head out that same morning to visit a few stores in my area and found people were willing to leave their homes on the very first release date to shop, not just lazily make their purchases electronically. Nary a stitch remained, only a handful of girl's sweaters in two stores (click) and serving trays in a third (click). I have to admit to you this author is thin enough to wear some girls' apparel and so I tried on one sweater (click) in a Large size. I found that it was very well made, free of loose threads, or flaws in the yarn for $29.99. The Wellingtons (click) were awfully cute too. My friend Bianca in Las Vegas wrote to me on Sunday night before the Tuesday launch. "Are you excited about Missoni's line for Target? I am ready to camp out on Monday night to be the first in on Tuesday morning." Okay, you get my point this was an unprecedented success story no one could have predicted, but why?
Here is what I think. If you don't already know the Missoni iconic design is bold and brightly colored zig-zags of stacked color. Once you see it, you know it; everyone knows you are wearing it. On top of the world even postmortem designer Alexander McQueen showed his designs for Target but alas they were not McQueen-esque (click). They did not scream his name. There were no skulls, finger-less leather gloves, chain-mail tops or tattoo prints (click). Now let me introduce another image: Louis Vuitton coated canvas Speedy handbag (click). You know it, right? Everyone knows it when you carry it and it is their entry level price point that makes it so ubiquitous. More men and women carry Vuitton monogram accessories than those who regularly take public transit. In August a friend Facebook'd while visiting designer fashion markdown store Loehmann's (click) in San Francisco she spotted on display the Hermes Birkin bag (click). These leather handbags starting price is in the low 5-digits and go up from there.
So when you read an editor's statement "fashion is dead", don't ever believe it. Take a note from Target Corporation's foresight and success, don't be shy, show your style and there are many ways to afford it. And for goodness' sake "All-black-attire-five-days-a-week-is-dead", says LIFE-Style ME. Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief, VOGUE Magazine does not wear all-black-all-the-time!