Target sure knows how to throw a party.
In order to announce its next designer partnership, the Minneapolis-based retailer rented out the Four Season Restaurant's pool room in midtown Manhattan. It shrouded the designer's identity in secrecy until guests, including New York fashion editors, arrived, building up the suspense by dangling clues on signs in the hallway leading up to the room.
Once they entered the room, they learned the answer: Lilly Pulitzer, the resortwear line known for its vibrant prints. The brand's founder and namesake, a Palm Beach designer, died in 2013.
Models lounged on hammocks around a small pool in the center of the room. And a handful of exotic birds, including a macaw, were sprinkled throughout the space. (Pulitzer was apparently quite the socialite and often had animals, including monkeys, at her parties.)
Samples of the 250-piece Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection were scattered throughout the room. The limited-edition collaboration has a much broader range of items than offered in Target's more recent designer partnerships that have been more apparel-focused. This collection will span not just women's and girls' clothes, but will also have everything from dishes and towels to hammocks and nail polish.
And, yes, parts of this collection will be available in plus sizes (14-26) online. Target has been criticized in the past for not offering plus sizes in all of its previous collaborations.
Most of the pieces will be under $30, but the collection overall will range in price from $2 to $150. The items will hit stores and Target's website on April 19.
"Ultimately, we were looking for someone to work with who understands print and patterns," said Joshua Thomas, a Target spokesman. "We wanted something cheery and optimistic."
Target also went with bold prints last spring with its designer partnership with Peter Pilotto. Its most recent collaboration with Joseph Altuzarra in the fall had a more sophisticated feel to it.
Lilly Pulitzer's team has been working with Target for about a year on the upcoming collection, Thomas said. He added that it includes 15 exclusive prints, which are updated versions of Pulitzer's designs over of the years.