Friday, May 27, 2011

America's Got Talent star signs deal with Target

Target has announced that it is partnering with soprano singer Jackie Evancho for the exclusive, deluxe edition of her first full-length studio album, “Dream With Me.” The deluxe edition - which includes four additional new songs - is currently available for pre-order at, and will be available at Target stores nationwide beginning June 14.

“At the young age of 11, Jackie is an amazingly talented artist and we know Target’s guests will be excited about the arrival of ‘Dream With Me,’” said John Butcher, VP entertainment for Target. “Her youth and undeniable passion for singing enhances Jackie’s natural ability to captivate everyone who listens to her, and Target is happy to play a part in her music.”

Evancho first gained worldwide fame with a celebrated runner-up finish on the fifth season of “America’s Got Talent.” Evancho’s first release, “O Holy Night,” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Chart, No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart and achieved Platinum status in a mere five weeks, making her the youngest female solo artist to debut in the Top 10, and the top-selling debut artist of 2010.

Last chance for Go International dresses...

The Go International 5-year retrospective dresses - which hit stores back in March, and then started to go on clearance just a month later - are now down to 65% off. What's left of them can be found here on Just be forewarned that most of the selection is limited to sizes XS/S or 1/3/5.

I'm not surprised that this Zac Posen style (shown here) hasn't sold out; although the color is gorgeous, I found the fit odd once you got it on. But if it works for you, then don't miss your chance to own a Zac Posen for under $16!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Target's suncreen ranked #1 by Consumer Reports

Ahh, summer. The kids are out of school, and it's time for some fun in the sun. And with Memorial Day weekend approaching, experts are asking you to play it safe and pack the sunscreen.

But which sunscreen is best for protecting your family against the sun's harmful rays? Do you go for the most expensive? The highest SPF? Is a spray better than a lotion? The answer may surprise you.

A new study released this week by Consumer Reports ranks top sunscreen picks for the coming summer season, and their top choice was Target's Up and Up brand Sport Continuous SPF 30, which also turned out to be the cheapest at just 88 cents per ounce. Other top contenders included Coppertone Sport Ultra Sweatproof, Banana Boat Sport Performance, and CVS Fast Cover Sport, all in SPF 30.

Skin care experts say they're not surprised. In addition to using a high SPF, the key is to reapply often. And the biggest lesson is that a higher price tag does not guarantee better protection.

Note: Target also topped Consumer Reports' list last year, and at that time my post sparked some lively discussion about potentially harmful ingredients found in many sunscreens. If this is of concern to you, I urge you to do your research to find a sunscreen that suits your needs and you feel comfortable wearing (vs. skipping the sunscreen altogether, which isn't a good idea).

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Double-Take: Mossimo vs. Michael Stars

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Tar-jay and pair it up with a similar designer piece. This time, we're looking at the easy, breezy kimono dress: a fun summer style that can double as a beach-cover up. Both dresses shown come in a punchy purple color....only one is from Mossimo at Target (at a wallet-friendly $18) and the other is a whopping $100 more at $118 from Michael Stars (via Can you guess which is which? The answer appears in the comments section.

Saturday, May 21, 2011 previews Missoni for Target

Earlier this week the folks at had the privilege of attending the press preview for the recently announced Missoni/Target collaboration that will officially launch on September 13th. But before you get too excited, they still can't give you any details nor preview pics, as they've been forbidden to do so by the Tar-jay powers that be.

But what they can confirm is that the collab is a full-on lifestyle line featuring every category under the sun (womenswear, menswear, kiddie-wear, footwear and accessories, bed, bath, home, office, travel - you name it). So basically, if you want to Missoni-out your entire apartment/home/life, you can. Overall, they were pretty darn impressed with the entire line. And for those scratching your heads thinking "what on earth could cost $599.99 at Target"? Well, it turns out it's a patio set, and for the $$, it is actually a pretty good deal.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Target partners with Ben & Jerry's on two new flavors

Last June, I told you about Target’s plan to offer two exclusive Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors to promote volunteerism. This year, the ice cream masters are again partnering with Target to rally people to help their communities. This time, Ben & Jerry’s introduces two new flavors: Peanut Butter World and Volun-Tiramisu (shown) which is described as “coffee marscapone ice cream with cocoa-dusted coffee rum lady finger pieces”…..yum!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Double-Take: Target vs. Kenneth Jay Lane

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Tar-jay and pair it up with a lookalike designer piece. This time we look at coral rings: a fun & colorful Summer fashion accessory. One of these baubles (both in faux - not real - coral) is by jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane, and is on sale on the Last Call by Neiman Marcus site for $45 (down from $75). That's not bad....although the other ring is only $24.99 on Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday's Rant: why doesn't Target put one brand in ONE place?

On Tuesdays I sometimes take the opportunity to rant about something I do not like about Target… because although I love ‘em to death, they ain’t perfect. Today's rant was inspired by a few reader comments asking why Target didn't use the "store within a store" concept for Calypso St. Barth, and thereby group ALL the Calypso items in one area? Instead, Target has the Calypso goods spread throughout multiple departments - housewares, clothing, intimates, jewelry, etc. Honestly, if you didn't know to look for it, you wouldn't know that Calypso made these cute hair accessories. And even then, the women's versions are in the Health & Beauty section, while the girl's and infant versions are in those departments.

And this practice isn't limited to Target's limited-time designer collaborations. The other day I noticed that half of the Smith & Hawken stuff was in the Home Decor aisles, while the other half was in the Patio & Garden section.

If Target truly wants to hawk "brand names", they might do better by adopting the "store within a store" concept, especially with the designer collabs (like last year's Liberty of London, shown here). It'd be easier for shoppers to see all the branded goods in one place, and they potentially might buy more stuff if they see it all together. Come to think of it, wouldn't it also be easier for Target employees to set up, re-stock, and tear-down just one area dedicated to this?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Is Calypso St. Barth struggling to sell?

On my last couple of trips to Target (at 2 different locations - one near my home, the other near my work) I noticed something interesting. The Calypso St. Barth collection didn't seem to be moving. Sure, a few choice items (like the silver pouf) have sold out both in stores and online, but some items that at first flew off the shelves (like the elephant teapot and some of the tote bags) have been restocked. In fact, as racks start to thin out, it looks like Target replenishes them regularly with additional inventory. Which got me thinking: is the Calypso line not selling as well as Target had planned? It seemed like the Liberty of London line last year at this time sold out like hotcakes - especially the housewares. Calypso's housewares, on the other hand - especially the plastic tumblers, printed plates, and scented candles - seem in full supply two weeks after launch. And don't even get me started on the sleepwear & intimates; they haven't budged at all. Perhaps Target overestimated the public's zeal for island-inspired goods?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Target beats Walmart in recent price comparison

Walmart owns the slogan "Save Money. Live Better," but Target is challenging that claim by offering even lower prices on everyday products.

Two recent price comparisons of grocery and household goods revealed that Target's prices are lower than at No. 1 retailer Walmart.

A recent price comparison of 35 brand-name items sold at Walmart and Target stores in New York, Indiana and North Carolina showed that Target won at the cash register. The comparison consisted of 22 common grocery goods such as milk, cereal and rice; 10 general merchandise products such as clothing and home furnishings; and three health and beauty items. And at the end of the test, Target's shopping cart rang in at $269.13 (pre-tax), a hair lower than the $271.07 charged at Walmart.

"For the first time in four years, our price comparisons between the two has shown that Target has a slight edge over Walmart," said Craig Johnson, president of retail consulting firm Customer Growth Partners (who conducted one of the two tests). A smaller study by Kantar Retail found similar results. You can read the full article with additional details here on

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Two ways to nail it...

Nail color has never been more fun - or schizophrenic. This season's trends give you two options: go bright, or go nude. Neon shades of pink, orange, blue and lemony yellow are pool-party perfect. And on the pale end of the spectrum, taupe, beige and pale pink give a modern, monochromatic look against summer skin.

Can't decide between the two? Then wear both at once: nudes on your fingers, and brights on your toes. Sonia Kashuk Nail Color (available only at Target) has you covered with a variety of bright and nude shades (for just $5 each) including Jammin (shown), Tutti Fruitti, Tickled Pink, and In the Buff.

Monday, May 9, 2011

New at Target: Appaman

Last summer I told you about the partnership between Target and Baby Buggy, Jessica Seinfeld's charity that provides families in need with essentials for their infants and children. Over the past year, Baby Buggy has offered affordable, signature items through Target, with 10% of the purchase price of each product going to support the charity and its efforts. Now the year-long partnership with Target is coming to an end, but not without one more adorable offering: Appaman. From Target's web site:

Appaman is named for the childhood companion of founder and designer Harald Husum. While growing up in Norway, Husum befriended a corduroy ape named Appaman. Together they traveled the fields and fjords of their native land, sharing many fantastic adventures. Appaman reflects the whimsical spirit of those youthful times and celebrates the unbreakable bond between a boy and his ape. Appaman brings a unique Scandinavian perspective to Ameripop iconic imagery. Inspired by Brooklyn street life, diverse communities and eclectic urban landscapes, Husman brings energy, edge and a fresh modern palette to his designs. Launched in 2003, Appaman now has a cult following of in-the-know trendsetters, celebrity families, and little hipsters everywhere.

The line features garments for boys and girls in sizes 0 to 9 months, as well as a variety of cozy blankets, with 10% of the purchase price benefiting Baby Buggy's mission of helping families in need. The Appaman for Target collection is available now through June 19 at select Target stores and on

Interview with Angela Missoni

The May issue of Harper's Bazaar has an interview with Angela Missoni, Creative Director of Missoni. While the article doesn't mention the newly-announced Target collaboration, it does give some interesting insights into the family behind the legendary Italian brand. Pictured here are Angela (on the right) and her daughter Margherita back in 2005; click here to see more family photos from Angela's personal collection.

Friday, May 6, 2011

More info on the Missoni for Target collab... is reporting that they've received an invitation to preview the upcoming Missoni for Target collection (lucky them!) although the photos will likely be embargoed for a couple of months following the preview event. They also share an interesting nugget of info that the collection will range in price from $2.99 to $599.99 (??!) but that most items will be less than $40 (whew!).

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Target to collaborate with Missoni!

Hot off the presses! The next major designer to collaborate with Target will be Italian powerhouse Missoni. Vogue is reporting that come Fall, the Missoni for Target line with 400-plus items (their biggest collab to date!) will hit Target stores nationwide. Everything from clothes (women’s, men’s, and kids') to bed sheets to dinnerware in Missoni’s signature swirls, zigzags, and near-hallucinogenic florals. “It’s been a fantastic experience - one we are eager to share with families across the United States.” says Angela Missoni, Missoni's Creative Director.

Missoni has been on a roll with collaborations lately, first with Converse, then Havaianas, and then Bugaboo. Be sure to mark your calendars for September 13 through October 22 to shop the collection at Target stores and

PS: shown here are some pillows and poufs from Missoni's 2008 collection. Perhaps they'll do another pouf for their Target collection, as Calypso did!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Former Target home designer opens new studio

By the time Matt Murphy hung the shingle on his new design studio last year, he already had two decades of design experience under his belt - including heading up product development for home goods for Target for five years.

"This is something I've been thinking about for so long," he said of his Jackson Square studio in San Francisco, "a space where I can explore and do everything I love - interior design, selling 20th century design and art, and launching my own products." After 20 years in the industry, Murphy maintains that "doing what you love and creating something beautiful doesn't feel like work. It's very rewarding and fulfilling."

Murphy's Cheat Sheet>>>

On design:
"When it comes to design, the best work is done with feeling - with soul. One of my favorite fortune cookie messages read, "Buy on emotion and justify with fact." It resonated with me. When you consider a purchase for your home, first of all, you have to love it; it should move you. Then you have to ask yourself: Can I afford it? Do I need it? Do have a room for it? But if it doesn't make your knees knock, why bother?"

Buy up:
"A friend was house shopping a few years ago, and her mother told her: 'Honey, it always pays to buy up.' She was right. Buy the best you can afford, especially when it comes to art and furnishings. I'm a big proponent of buying vintage and antiques whenever possible. If you buy wisely and with passion, you're making a good investment. If you're not confident in what you're purchasing, consult a dealer or designer with a solid reputation."

From hotels to home:
"What is it about your favorite hotel that makes it so comfortable? Next time you stay, take note and apply some of these amenities when you return home. For me, the best hotel rooms are simple yet elegant, and not over-decorated. They're usually stripped down to the essentials, but the essentials are luxurious and beautifully detailed."

Black is back:
"I'm not one to hop on a trend, but I have been known to get hot on a color. Right now, I'm feeling black again for the home, but not in a severe, '80s way. Black can be classic, traditional and decidedly dramatic. In the master bedroom of the Showcase, I designed a dominantly black rug, and I'm using one of my own fabrics (a black screen print on raw silk) as drapery - contrasted with warm wood furniture, neutral fabrics and pops of color."

A good look:
"Several years ago, an older and wiser friend and I were walking down a street in New York. As people passed by, he noted that most people walk around with their eyes open but they don't see anything. It made me think, and also made me want to be more observant. I realized one has to make a conscious effort to stay present, to notice the details. It's made me a better designer."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Several Calypso items already sold out...

Well that didn't take long! It looks like several Calypso St. Barth for Target items are already sold out, including both of the Elephant Teapots and the Silver Pouf (shown). Also sold out (at least online) is the White Hand-Crocheted Dress, the Purple Tie-Dye Tank Top, and a bunch of the scarves, bracelets, and silver jewelry. So if you're waiting for this collection to go on sale, don't. If you see something you like, my advice is to buy it NOW before it's gone.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Crazy for Calypso!

Good morning, dear readers! The title of my post isn't just referring to me. It's referring to the half a dozen other women who were waiting outside my local Target store for it to open at EIGHT AM to swarm the Calypso St. Barth racks. I kid you not! And before I offer up my review of the goods, I have to mention one particularly whackadoo woman, who looked like an old Heidi Klum (in that at one point, say 20+ years ago, she was probably as beautiful as Heidi....but years of sunbathing has turned this chick brown and wrinkly :-( She had Heidi's body, but lost her skin tone decades ago. Nonetheless, she was scantily-clad in a tiny white sundress, and took it upon herself to load up her ENTIRE CART with Calypso clothes. Seriously, this woman probably had between $800-$1,000 worth of goods in her cart. I almost asked her "are you one of those people who gobble this stuff up to re-sell on ebay?"

But I digress. Despite the fact that greedy old Heidi had filled her cart, there was still plenty of Calypso for me to peruse. My overall review is an enthusiastic "thumbs up!" There's a lot of options, in many sizes; check online for offerings in Petite and Plus sizes as well.

Here's a rundown of what I bought:
* The Print Dress in Turquoise (which I liked so much, I also ordered the one in Cerise Queen, which is only available online).

* The Woven Shirt in Navy Blue. Looks really plain on the web site, but it's really cute once you get it on. This will be perfect for summer with white jeans.

* The Cuffed Linen Shorts in Chelsea Gray (which is more of a taupe or a tan, IMO). This is another item only available online. I tried these on in white at the store, and they were just a little too transparent, so I ordered them online in gray instead.

* This bright, Tie-dyed Scarf.... which according to Target's web site, is actually in girl's sizing, but I found it hanging in the women's section.

Regarding sizing: as with most of Target designer collaborations, it varies. I sized down in the print dresses I bought, and the t-shirts seemed large as well. But some of the other dresses seemed true to size or even a bit snug. Also, some of the cottons and silks are borderline see-thru. With nude undergarments, I'll be able to get away with wearing the print dresses as-is, but some people might feel more comfortable with a slip or a cami underneath. This was true for many of the Calypso items, and even the knit t-shirts are quite thin.

Other thoughts....

Jewelry & Accessories:

My Target didn't have the jewelry out yet (boo!) so I can't comment first hand on those items. They did have (in the Health & Beauty section) some lovely hair accessories, especially these Shell ponytail holders (at just $5.99 each!) and Mother of Pearl bobby pins (at $7.99).

Home items:
My Target had precious few of the home items out yet, but I did see in the infamous Pouf that so many bloggers have been writing about. While it's not my style, it looked cute.

This stuff was nice, but nothing that I just had to have. One note on the "short robe" : it's really short. As in, I don't really consider it a robe. In fact, if you wanted to, you could ditch the tie, add a real belt, cinch it over a cami and wear it as a top.

For Mother's Day (which is just around the corner!) there are several great options I scoped out as gifts, including scarves, totes, and makeup bags. I bought the darling pink scarf & straw tote for my mom (shown above) which was included in the Calypso lookbook but I cannot find for sale online. I'm predicting this item be a sellout since there were 6 when I walked into the store, and when I went back to the shelf later I nabbed the last one.