Target shoppers wanting to pull themselves from the doldrums of snow, cold and data breaches, Peter Pilotto is throwing you a line.
The London-based design pair, Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos, are the latest to collaborate with Target. It’s a spring fashion collection so bold in print and color that it makes Missoni’s zigzags look tame by comparison.
“This will be a good test of Target’s best guests,” said Amy Koo of Kantar Retail in Boston. “Will they be more cautious because of the data breach?”
The collection debuting Sunday includes nearly 70 items, mostly women’s separates, swimwear and accessories. While Target has partnered with scores of designers, this collection is its first to be available internationally.
Target is partnering with Net-a-Porter.com, a global online luxury retailer in 170 markets worldwide, which chose 36 pieces from the collection.
“This brings the Target brand to a much larger, broader audience,” Target spokesman Joshua Thomas said. “There’s an appetite for these collections outside our normal network, and now we’re not limited to the U.S.”
Retail and brand analyst Mary Van Note at Ginger Consulting in Minneapolis said Target needed to shore up its online presence.
“Net-a-Porter is a cool way to do it,” she said. “These items [priced between $15 and $80] are pocket change for Net-a-Porter’s customers who might pay $3,000 for a single item.”
As with most of Target’s collaborations, the retailer wants to appear to be ahead of the style curve, even though fashion competitors such as H&M have long copied the designer-exclusives idea. Only the most fashion-forward have probably heard of Pilotto, but the same could have been said for Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu and Phillip Lim when they were originally released.
One thing that makes this collection unique is that it’s Pilotto’s first dive into swimwear, and Van Note expects those items to sell well. “This is prime time for [swimsuits], for spring break and resort wear,” said Van Note. “The mix-and-match patterns work well for women willing to try a bold pattern in a swimsuit but not head to toe in all-over pattern.”
Kayla Krebsbach of Richfield, shopping at the downtown Minneapolis Target on Thursday, plans to check out the selection after its debut. “The styles that I saw in the TV ads look fresh and hip,” she said.
Target’s success with its collections has been inconsistent. The Missoni collection in 2011 was hugely successful until the website crashed. The anticipation for the Neiman Marcus collection in 2012 was high, but much of the line sold poorly after being perceived as esoteric and overpriced.
Thomas said the goal of any of these collections is not to sell out in a day but rather to “build buzz.”
The Pilotto collection goes on sale at Target.com early Sunday with each item subject to a limit of five online to prevent hoarding. All of the 60-plus items are available at the website, although retail stores may carry a smaller selection or none at all.
The line will be carried at 22 Twin Cities metro locations listed at http://t.co/U91JcSATbK, but not in stores such as Minneapolis on E. Lake Street or Edina near Southdale. The amount available at each store is based in part on previous sales patterns, Thomas said.
The latest designer partnership will be a small test to check customer interest in Target’s latest offering of cheap chic, Koo said. “Is there still enough cachet in Tar-zhay?” she asked.