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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Phillip Lim For Target: A Review

That time I lined up in front of Target....and why I would do it again

Yesterday Target announced their next designer collaboration, they will be teaming up with London based powerhouse designers Peter Pilotto to create a Spring 2014 collection of 70 pieces, most under $60. The collection will be available February 9th 2014. This news came just 24 hours after the mad sale of the Phillip Lim for Target collection. 

By now the racks of every Target store have been stripped bone dry of the remnants of the collection. I am certain that all that's left is the white pilgrim blouse with the rhinestones down the front that nobody seemed to want. I know this because I was there when "history" went down in one of Canada's new Target locations. I walked away with only two items, a sweater and a skirt, mainly because all the "good stuff" was gone by the time I reached the racks. And I was only about 30th in line. 

Phillip Lim for Target was the first time Canada opened its doors to a designer collaboration with Target. And I lined up for it, at 6:45 AM, on a Sunday, on the day of my 1st wedding anniversary...and no, not with my husband, he was sleeping (he's smart like that). 

There is such a RUSH of excitement when the doors fling open and you catch yourself running, pushing, screaming and crying towards the section you are interested in. Of course yesterday everyone in line was rushing towards the same section. 

Several shoppers arrived at 4 am to get the coveted first-in-line spot outside Target's front door. There was a group of several young men waiting patiently in lawn chairs, covered in blankets. They were prepared and determined. 

I learned as soon as the doors opened that these guys were also hoarders, hoarders of the super cute Phillip Lim purses pretty much every woman in line had on their wish list. Being first in line gave them the chance to sprint across the store towards the racks where the hand bags hung, they literally pushed every bag off the shelf into a shopping cart and walked away only moments later bragging "Resale bitches!!"


All I could hear at that point were dozens of angry women gasping in shock "The bags are all gone? The bags are all gone!". It was a pretty big blow for those of use who had dreams of going home with one of the VERY affordable bags.

THIS bag in particular, I guess I should be checking on eBay for it right about now..
phillip lim for target
To say its disappointing that I didn't get the bag I wanted would be very accurate, to say I am shocked, not so much. I knew the hype surrounding the release of the collection was pretty intense, as it always is when retailers do designer collaborations. 

In 1992 the first designer collaboration with Target was introduced  Since then Target has partnered with over 100 designers and retailers for other such collaborations; Missoni and Jason Wu to name a few. Every time Target releases one of the collaboration collections people line up, and every time it sells out on the first day. 

Last week I had the pleasure of listening to Meredith Sinclair, Senior Buyer for Target Canada speak at Toronto's Design Exchange about designer collaborations. She shared how these collaborations are important to the retailer, the designer and the consumer. We all know by now that when a retail brand and a  designer brand come together it creates incredible excitement. But in Meredith's words it also inspires the consumers, drives awareness for both retailer and designer, establishes furthers loyalty, and sets up for sustainable growth of both the retailer and the designer. 

I'm sure being a top designer is awesome, having high end clientele with money to burn, but what about the masses? I know some designers may not care, because their brand holds EXCLUSIVITY, but others may want to break into other markets and sell at more affordable price points, and collaborations are the best way to do that. 

Its all fun and exciting but there happens to be a lot of drama surrounding the notion of the designer collabo. 

Often the criticism is that they dilute the designer brand. Making it accessible to the "little people" kills the exclusivity. As a consumer who mixes both designer items with high street and retail items into my wardrobe I couldn't disagree more. I enjoy the collaborations for what they are, a way for anyone and everyone to get their hands on something different and  "designer". There are limited quantities which make the collections exclusive in their own right. 

On November 14th H&M will be releasing the Isabel Marant for H&M collection, I have read several comments online from consumers who are either a) praying she will include her INFAMOUS studded gladiator sandals or b) angry, and I mean ANGRY women who are worried she will included the infamous, over popular cult item, studded gladiator sandals.

Recently H&M released sneak peak pic via Twitter, of a slouchy dress and short western style booties; see, no studded sandals in sight people you can all calm down now. 
What do you think? Do these designer collaborations cheapen the famous brands? Or are you on-board and excited for more in the future? 

Personally I am excited to see the entire collection and I already have the date marked on my calender. If this past Sunday was any lesson to me I now know I must arrive several hours earlier to get my spot in front of the doors, because you have to commit to fashion sometimes. 

Did you get your hands on any of the Phillip Lim for Target collection?? I wanna know what your shopping experience was like and what you managed to score.


  1. WOW I can't believe it was all gone. I wanted one of the bags as well but couldn't make it to a Target. I love these collaborations I think it is a great way for designers to reach an entirely different audience.
    Thanks for sharing your experience, I had only heard from the other side of the border so nice to get a local view.


  2. I love when affordable retailers collaborate with designers that I could probably never afford to wear because then I have the opportunity to own a piece or two from said designer. Plus, I think it's good for the designer to reach a broader consumer base. It does suck though when the line initially comes out and you can't get your hands on the item your want!


  3. I did it online! I don't know if it works for Canada online but I stayed up all night and am anxiously awaiting my black mini satchel, leopard sweater, floral blouse, and navy skirt.

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

    1. ahhhh it wasn't available online for Canadians, though that would be nice. Perhaps they can ad that for the next diffusion line. Lucky you, not only did you get a bag but that leopard sweater; I loved that one but didn't manage to get one for myself.

  4. I was on holidays celebrating my 5th wedding anniversary. I finally sauntered into Target today and came away with the leopard tuxedo shirt I wanted. A purse would've been nice but souns like they were hard to get because of all the "scalpers". I think there should be limits in place as to how many of one item you can buy so others get a chance instead of those guys who scooped all the purses just to sell them for three times the price on ebay.