Have you heard? Target and Neiman Marcus are joining forces to create a capsule collection of 24 CFDA Designers. The collection will debut this holiday season and will feature items ranging up to nearly $500, but most are promised to be below $60.
I’m curious what everyone’s thoughts on this are. I know I won’t make a lot of friends by saying this, and I don’t mean to come off as a fashion snob (because I’m not) but I really hate all of these top designers cheapening their brands for the mass-market stores. Not too long ago there was the Marni for H&M, and Mary Katrantzou for Topshop, or who can forget the Missioni for Target. These collaborations seem to be more and more frequent, and I really wonder what the point is? I get that it brings some brand notoriety to the market-but at what price to the designer? While they are certainly big money makers for the stores, I have to imagine the designers are sacrificing part of what their brand is built upon to make their clothes available to the greater consumer.
Hear me out.
Oscar de la Renta makes some of the most beautiful gowns in the world. His fabrics are all gorgeous and each detail of a dress right down to the tiniest zipper has been thought through- not to mention that everything is made in America. The precision craftsmanship and attention to detail and quality is the backbone of the brand. Now, I don’t care how carefully or closely he monitors Target- they cannot afford to create clothing in the same way. For less than $60, they could barely afford the threads and sequins of a real Oscar de la Renta Gown. So what is the consumer buying? The name.
Carolina Herrera is another perfect example of a designer who’s attention to detail is legendary. Her garments are always simple with amazing flourishes- whether it be an intricate sleeve or neckline. Luxurious yet wearable. Well if you take away the luxury aspect what are you going to be left with? A very pretty, cheap sundress? when wearing it will you really say- this is a Carolina Herrera? No- because it won’t be. Everything that the brand stands for won’t be there. But the actual brand label will be.
So these designers agree to lower the quality for the sake of promoting and growing the brand. But now that “brand” also includes cheap, quickly produced tshirts and pants? How does that not detract from the name overall? Now Prabal Gurung will be known for his runway clothing and his $60 dresses. What makes his target dress any better than the average target designer at this point?
What about the DVF prints? Or the Rag and Bone tailoring? Who really believes that these won’t be sacrificed up for profits? Am I alone here? When you take out the elemental reason a brand is a luxury, what keeps them appealing?