"Prabal Who?" may be most people's reaction to Minneapolis retailer's latest designer phenom.
The creations of designer Prabal Gurung, which have been worn by Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton and Lady Gaga, will soon be available to the masses at Target.
The Minneapolis-based discount retailer announced Monday that a limited-edition collection of 80 pieces will be available Feb. 10 to March 23, including ready to wear, handbags, shoes and jewelry.
Gurung, 38, might not be a household name in the Twin Cities. But for people who follow fashion, he is a very hot designer, said Gretchen Weisman at Fashion Avenue in Edina.
"He's only been around for three to four years, but the prints and graphics that are his signature are phenomenal," Weisman said.
His couture dresses sell for $1,800 to $2,600, but the collection sold at Target and Target.com will be priced from $20 for a T-shirt to $200 for a leather jacket.
Gurung, who was born in Singapore, also will have two pieces, a black clutch and a cape, in the Target/Neiman Marcus partnership that will debut in stores Dec. 1. He's one of 24 designers that Target is working with for that collection.
Although Gurung's designs are sold in few if any Twin Cities stores, the lack of familiarity is part of Target's desire to keep its designer relationships fresh and new, said spokesman Joshua Thomas.
"We want to give consumers something they haven't seen before," Thomas said. "You may not know the designer, but you can appreciate the beauty and value of the merchandise."
Standout pieces, according to Target, will include refined dresses, mixed-media skirts, edgy blazers and striking shoes featuring hot hues and sleek, feminine styles. Gurung also did a small collection with J. Crew last year.
The discounter started its relationship with designers back in 1999 with the debut of Michael Graves and Sonia Kashuk. In 2002 it started doing limited partnerships with Isaac Mizrahi.
Since then, the retailer has had partnerships with Jason Wu, Rodarte, Proenza Schouler and Missoni, along with more than a dozen others.
Retail analysts expect this partnership to be more cutting-edge and fashion insider-ish than previous collections, said Nancy Liu, retail strategist at Kurt Salmon. "Target is reaching out to the consumer who is the first adopter of fashion, as well as a younger demographic, " said Liu.
Unlike the Jason Wu collection, the Gurung collection will be available at all Target stores.
John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633