by Nissa Hanna
Target and its customers are no strangers to designer diffusions, so what whipped up the astonishing frenzy for Missoni? Certainly pre-launch buzz for the limited-edition collection helped shape the excitement, building anticipation through Vogue, look books slipped to bloggers, and the editor and celeb rush on a Fashion Week pop-up (WWD.com, 13 September 2011).
But at the end of the day, it was the (style + story) brand itself. While some of Target’s past designer partnerships have centered on esoteric labels, the Missoni name and aesthetic have resonance with even casual fashion followers. The brand’s Italian provenance and the Missoni family’s involvement in the Target designs were represented in ads featuring Margherita Missoni, while the choir of bold colors zigzagging across 400 apparel, accessory and home items provided an unmistakable (and refreshingly cheery) tie to the brand, and possibly to better times ahead.
With consumers trying to balance austerity and style, reward and responsibility, the Missoni for Target collection translated those values into an affordable opportunity to own a chic piece of an iconic and meaningful brand. And the rarity of the occasion was palpable, giving shoppers permission to brush the financial adviser off their shoulders and semi-sensibly indulge in a fashion moment that may never come around again.