Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Double-Take: Target vs. Overstock.com

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Tar-jay and pair it up with a similar - yet more pricey - piece. Today we're looking at a horse head figural, the perfect accent item for a mantle or bookshelf. I saw one of these beauties in Target the other day for just $24.99. The lookalike statue is from Overstock.com, and weighs in at more than twice that amount, at $63.99. Can you guess which one is which? The answer appears below in the comments section.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dana Kellin also disappears from Target.com...

Just like Missoni, the Dana Kellin jewelry line has also disappeared from Target's website. What's left of the collection can be snapped up in stores at 75% off. Ditto on the Albertus Swanepoel hats. I guess Target is making way for all the new Jason Wu merchandise, which launches this Sunday, Feb. 5th.

Speaking of which: Racked.com is speculating that perhaps "collab hysteria has died down" due to the low number of Jason Wu for Target items posted on eBay. Racked surmises that while the line at the Target press event last week "was certainly really, really long... there was an astonishing amount of elbow room throughout 95% of the event space. And we didn't see any pushing, shoving, what have you. Perhaps the Wu collection is enough of a non-gimmick to make people actually want to hold onto it, rather than try to make a quick buck on eBay."

Mossimo's nod to Louboutin?

The New York Times recently published an interesting article about Christian Louboutin's vivid red soles, and whether they can enforce its federally registered Red Sole Mark. It seems that another high-end designer - namely Yves Saint Laurent - has produced some new styles with red soles that Louboutin claims infringes on its trademark.

So when I saw the "Papina" pump by Mossimo at Target the other day, I couldn't help wonder if the styling - with a peep-toe platform in scarlet red - was a subtle nod to Louboutin's iconic sole? While it certainly doesn't cross any trademarks, it does seem to silently suggest the designer's mark.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Blake Lively hearts Target

Look who else loves the Bullseye! Gossip Girl star Blake Lively showed up at last night's fete in NYC for the upcoming launch of Jason Wu for Target. But "which piece of Wu she wore" varies among news sources. PeopleStyleWatch claims that she's wearing a black/white peplum dress from the Jason Wu for Target collection, but I don't recall seeing this item in the official Target lookbook. CBS News, on the other hand, reports that Blake wore a black trench coat with lace trim (not shown here) from the line over her dress. Actress Emmy Rossum and model Jaime King were also spotted at the event.

PS: Sadly, my friend and fellow blogger The Recessionista reports that Jason Wu for Target merchandise from the event have already started showing up on eBay (at highly inflated prices, of course).

Missoni merchandise disappears from Target.com...

In an update to Saturday's post, I notice that Target has now removed all Missoni merchandise from their website. I think when I last looked, Target.com still had 200 or so listings for Missoni; some were sold out, but many were not, and many weren't even marked down yet. But now, poof! - they're all gone. I guess now the only place to find it will be your local Goodwill store or eBay (which as of today, still has over 9,000 Missoni for Target listings!).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Todd Oldham's Kid Made Modern

With a career spanning more than 20 years, designer Todd Oldham has mastered every element of design, from gorgeous interiors and furniture to fashion, film, dorm-room d├ęcor, books and more. His passion for accessible art and the endless possibilities it can create is evident in his 2009 book, Kid Made Modern, a colorful DIY guide that gives children crafting confidence alongside history of mid-century artists.

And now, inspired by his own book, Todd has teamed up with Target to create the Kid Made Modern collection of art supplies and activity kits to give kids and parents fun - yet affordable - design tools, Available exclusively at Target, the inspirational collection (available May 20th) includes kid-approved supplies like crazy crayons, neon-printed ducktape, jewelry kits, art papers and more.

PS: Savvy Target shoppers will remember that this isn't the first collaboration Todd has done with the Bullseye. Way back in 2002, he created a "back-to-school" collection called "Dorm Room" aimed at college kids. Every once in a while, pieces from that collection show up on eBay, like this colorful wall clock.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dita does Target Australia...

Right around the same time that Jason Wu for Target hits stateside, burlesque queen Dita Von Teese will bring her “Von Follies" lingerie line to Target Australia. As a reminder, Target Australia is the same in name only, as the two corporations are not affiliated with each other. However, the two retailers are similar in philosophy, in that they both hire designers for capsule collections. In fact, Zac Posen designed for Target OZ several years before he collaborated with Target US.

According to WWD, Dita’s collection of 26 pieces will feature five groups of balconette bras, high-cut briefs, G-strings, garters, bustiers and fitted corsolettes rendered in leopard-print satin with eyelash lace detail, red satin with delicate black lace trim and black lace with intricate ribbon detailing and signature Dita blue treatments. There will also be spot-pattern mesh overlay effects on nude and black grounds, as well as sexy looking nude and black fishnet. The line will hit Target Australia just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jason Wu for Target TV spot

The new Jason Wu for Target TV commercial has hit YouTube; click here to watch. I haven't seen the spot air on television yet, but I'm captivated by Jason's whimsical feline muse, who comes to "life" in the video. Too cute!

Double-Take: Target vs. Pottery Barn, round 2

Hot on the heels of last week's double-take, a dear friend of mine sent in another Target vs. Pottery Barn challenge. One of these natural-fiber table runners is from Pottery Barn, and will set you back $39. Target offers a much more wallet-friendly option for half that price, at just $17.99. Can you guess which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Missoni hits the bargain bin...

As my fellow blogger The Recessionista reported yesterday, not only has Target.com re-stocked many Missoni items (presumably via customer returns) but much of what's left is now on clearance.

And as they say in the advertising biz, "but wait, there's more!" Target.com is running a promotion right now that gets you an additional 20% off your clothing order of $75 or more. Which means that if you include this gold space-dyed Missoni cardigan in your order, it'll only cost you $27.99. But hurry, as this extra 20% offer is only good through 1/28/2012.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A sweet deal for The Candy Store...

The San Francisco Chronicle just published a profile of one of the upcoming Shops at Target. The Bullseye will be taking a small confectionery boutique on Russian Hill to all 1,767 Target stores across the United States.

The Candy Store is one of five specialty stores selected to be part of the Shops at Target program, debuting in May. For six weeks, their "curated sweets" - including Caramel Creams, Black Licorice Scotties and Gummy Fried Eggs - will be available to Target's millions of shoppers at temporary stores-within-Target-stores and online at Target.com.

The program, announced last week, is similar to the Sephora beauty products store-within-a-store concept at J.C. Penney and reflects a growing push by mass retailers to differentiate themselves by offering more exclusive and high-end items.

Diane Campbell of The Candy Store said she had been working with Target for the past nine months. What the partnership will do for the Candy Store's sales and brand she can't predict. "I'm not sure what's going to happen, but it's only going to be better," she said. "I'm nothing but optimistic and very thrilled."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Double-Take: Target vs. Pottery Barn

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from the Bullseye and match it up against a similar designer piece. Today it's the battle of the table lamps. One of these lovely stacked crystal lamps (approx. 27" high) is from Pottery Barn, and will set you back a whopping $190. And, you can tack on another $40 for the coordinating lamp shade. The other more wallet-friendly version is from Target, and is regularly $69.99 but happens to be on sale this week for just $55.99 (including the lamp shade). Can you guess which is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jason Wu's appearance on The Today Show

Jason Wu appeared on this morning's Today Show to hype his upcoming budget collection for Target. Wu told host Ann Curry “I think American women are telling us that they want beautiful clothes." Wu continued "They want something that is versatile, something that is quite timeless and something that they can enjoy for not just one season.” The designer also said he was heavily influenced by the style of French New Wave cinema and imagined his collection for women who are a “little mischievous, a little nonchalant.”

To watch the clip, click here. PIctured at left is an outfit from the upcoming collection: a textured pleated-front peplum top in gold ($32.99), pleated skirt in black ($29.99) and a floral lace clutch in black ($29.99).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jason Wu remixed...

Nina Garcia offers her own review of the upcoming Jason Wu for Target line in a recent installment of A Bullseye View, which you can read in full here. She also shows how to remix Wu items with other selections from Target. For example: at far left, a navy daisy-print Wu skirt is paired with a bright red Mossimo top. And at right, a floaty Wu dress is shown topped off with a Mossimo straw fedora.

Double-Take: Jonathan Adler vs. Target

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Tar-jay and pair it up with a similar designer piece. Kudos to Copy Cat Chic for this amazing lookalike find. One of these trendy enamel frames is by popular home design guru Jonathan Adler, and will cost you just over $40. The other is from Target, and is on sale right now for just $10. Both boast a curvy scroll design in a soothing turquoise blue, but which one is which? Check the comments section below for the correct answer.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Target ends GO International program

The Cut was wrong in their recent speculation that Target may partner with the likes of Yves Saint Laurent. [Yeah....as if THAT would ever happen!] However, their post was in correct on the count that Target is no longer producing its GO International program.

This is really not that surprising, seeing that last Spring the Bullseye held their GO International Designer Collective - celebrating 5 years of designer collabs by re-issuing a collection of dresses from their previous GO lines. At the time, the 5-year retrospective seemed like a fitting "farewell" for the program, which had included designers such as Thakoon, Erin Fetherston, and Tucker.

As I stated last week, Target will definitely continue their designer collaborations, but they just won't be under the GO International moniker.

Friday, January 13, 2012

And the winner...

...of my latest blog giveaway - for the Missoni for Target barrette - is reader 1smileygirl! Her entry was picked by the random number generator over at Random.org. 1smileygirl, I've already emailed you for your address, and as soon as I get it, I can mail this out to you. Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Apple mini-shops come to select Target stores

In addition to The Shops at Target program, The New York Times reports that Target plans to test Apple centers at 25 of its retail locations this year.

A Target spokeswoman described the tests as “expanded displays” of Apple products, but declined to say how the merchandise would be arranged or whether there would be Apple Store-like displays to showcase it.

Apple already has small stores within Best Buy locations, but enlarging its presence at Target would make the computer, phone and music brand more accessible to everyday shoppers who are not necessarily looking for electronics.

Target currently sells some Apple products, like iPads and iPods, but it does not sell Macintosh computers. Target declined to comment on whether the test centers would include computers.

Introducing The Shops at Target

Since their first partnership with architect Michael Graves back in 1999, Target has had more than 80 designer collaborations. And yesterday, the Bullseye unveiled an entirely new design platform: The Shops at Target.

The ongoing program brings upscale specialty stores from across the country to your local store at affordable prices. Target will partner with a rotating roster of boutique shop owners to co-create limited-edition collections across different product categories for six week runs.

For the first flight of The Shops at Target - which debuts online and in stores on May 6th - Target teamed up with five stores to create an exclusive collection totaling nearly 400 products. The first shops hail from different corners of the country: The Candy Store from San Francisco, Cos Bar beauty shop from Aspen, Polka Dog Bakery treats and toys from Boston, Privet House home goods from Warren, Conn. and The Webster, a Miami high-end fashion boutique.

With prices ranging from $1 to $160, the five collections reflect the spirit of each shop and shop owner’s unique perspective and aesthetic. The shop owners and Target worked together every step of the way – from product selection and packaging to in-store shop displays – to recreate the essence and ambiance of the individual boutiques. But fashionistas need not fret: in addition to The Shops, Target will continue to offer collaborations from big-name designers and brands like the upcoming Jason Wu line.

To see Target's video previewing The Shops at Target, click here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jason Wu wins "Future of Fashion" award

At last night's YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund gala at the Waldorf-Astoria, the night's honoree, Jason Wu, won the "Future of Fashion" award. He's shown here on the red carpet with model-of-the-moment Karlie Kloss, and you can read more about the event here.

When asked about Wu's upcoming collection for Target, Kloss said she had her eyes on a particular bag, and revealed that her sister and friends were actually planning to camp out at a Target in the midwest. And Wu's advice for getting one's hands on the collection? "Camp out, I guess?" Wu laughed.

But in all seriousness, here are some additional things to know about the upcoming Jason Wu for Target collection: I've just read that it will only be released to about 1,200 select stores, and not all 1,800+ stores nationwide. There are also certain items that will be available online-only, and in the wake of all the Missoni-madness, Target has allegedly beefed up it's website to handle anticipated web traffic on launch day (which is Feb. 5th).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Target praised for ad featuring child model with Down syndrome

The Washington Post reports that Target is being praised for producing an ad featuring a child model with Down syndrome. The circular released last week showed - amid a group of well-dressed children - an adorable boy who has Down syndrome (shown here).

The ad has received attention from scores of parents and advocates. “They said that people born with Down syndrome deserve to be treated the same as every other person on this planet,” said a father of a child with Down syndrome on his blog, Noah’s Dad.

The 6-year-old in the advertisement, Ryan Langston, has modeled before, most notably in a Nordstrom campaign last year. Ryan’s parents told the Web site Disability Scoop that their son adores modeling: “He’s so proud of himself, and it is a huge confidence booster.”

It’s a confidence booster for many others, too. Children with Down syndrome have been featured on occasion in other advertisements and on television shows such as Fox’s “Glee.” But widespread representation of them, or really any special-needs child, is still a rare thing. That’s why Target is also receiving praise for not not making an issue of featuring Ryan in the ad. No press releases, media blitz or other fanfare. Upon inquiry, a Target representative released the following statement to The Washington Post:

“Target is committed to diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our business, including our advertising campaigns. Target has included people with disabilities in our advertising for many years and will continue to feature people that represent the diversity of communities across the country.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Jason Wu for Target Lookbook

The Budget Babe has just posted the entire Jason Wu for Target lookbook; click here for apparel, and then click here for bags and accessories. I am determined to make this adorable canvas kitty tote bag mine, but as far as the apparel goes, I'm not so sure. Again, I'll reserve judgement until I'm able to to check the clothes out in person. I am a bit surprised, though, to see so many separates; many of the looks that I initially thought were dresses are actually blouses and skirts. I was also expecting to see belts as part of the accessories offerings, but no such luck; the only belts I see are ones that come with certain dress styles.

Cart crime victim offers forgiveness...

In an update to my November post about the NY woman who was the victim of a Target cart attack right before Halloween, the NY Post reports that the woman forgives her assailants. The philanthropist clobbered by a hurled shopping cart bears no ill will to the punks who did it, though the assault left her brain-damaged and unable to care for herself, said a person close to her.

The troubled Harlem kids are, after all, the very people Marion Hedges has spent her life trying to help, the source told The Post. “Her concerns are more about the economic conditions that created that situation" he said. He reports Hedges, an Upper West Side activist hit when two 12-year-olds tossed a heavy plastic carriage from a fourth-floor overpass at the East River Plaza mall on Oct. 31st, has been reading up on the attack, but isn’t bitter.

She hopes the injuries she suffered at the hands of Raymond Hernandez and Jeovanni Rosario as she bought Halloween candy for needy kids will raise awareness of the city’s underprivileged youth. “She doesn’t want media attention,” said the source. “The key to her is for people to give their time to those in need.”

But the source said Hedges can’t participate in any charitable effort now because of the severe head trauma, and that she may not ever fully recover. “She’s not the same person,” he said. “Talking to her is like talking to a 9-year-old or a 90-year-old. She gets emotional and forgets things quickly. There is short-term memory loss.”

New Josie Natori for Target hits stores

The second wave of Josie Natori for Target has hit stores and Target.com. As I reported back in October, the first wave was the holiday collection (which is now on clearance) and this second wave is Valentine's Day-themed. This installment seems heavy on the florals and pastels, and I've noticed that Target is doing a much better job this time around at promoting the line in stores with a dedicated rack and signage.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I stand corrected...

Not one to shy away from the truth, I stand corrected... or partially corrected, at least. Thanks to my fellow blogger, The Recessionista, we learned this weekend that Target is still selling leftover Missoni merchandise. My assumption - according to Target's sales policy - was that any Missoni merchandise at this point would be sent to Goodwill or the like for resale (as it is over 90 days since the line launched). I explained this practice in a recent blog post. But not so fast! As The Recessionista reports, Target.com has again restocked some Missoni merchandise for a second time (the first time was back in November). What is left online is mostly at full price, with a few notable exceptions, like this fab umbrella which I ordered yesterday on clearance for just $13.98!

I still haven't seen a slew of Missoni returns hit stores. In fact, despite my hunting, I haven't seen one piece of Missoni in any of my local stores since before Christmas. Ergo, I assumed the "90-day" rule was being enforced. But now, my guess is that there were SO many returns (most likely from eBayers who couldn't get the infated prices they wanted) that Target wants to try to sell it online vs. get rid of it at a deep discount in stores or donate it all. And perhaps the Missoni brand has some sort of agreement with the retailer that prevents Target from discounting too much of the line. Who knows? The point is that there's still some Missoni to be had on Target.com, if anyone is still interested.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"The Great Save" becomes "Bullseye Bodega"

If you recall, for the past couple of years Target has replaced their seasonal holiday section (gone by early January) with their "Great Save" event. This was their attempt to mimic a "warehouse store" environment, much like Costco. In other words: deals on staples in bulk.

I was never really a fan of this event, as it replaced Target's Global Bazaar, their annual home furnishings and decor event, which I used to always look forward to. Well now, Target seems to be "rebranding" The Great Save, dubbing it The Bullseye Bodega... which is somewhat confusing as Target already used that name for a special pop-up shop in NYC to showcase capsule designer collections three summers ago.

It's the same idea as The Great Save: a section of bulk-packaged, family size, and bonus pack items from brand names like Pepsi, Huggies, Lysol, etc. The only difference this time (besides the name) seems to be that the "marketplace" is centered around display tables vs. just rows of of shelves. This section usually lasts in stores until mid-February, and in the past, clearance on these items has begun as early as the first of February.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Target truck stuck in icy pond

Check out this Target cargo truck stuck in an icy Minnesota pond! The driver narrowly avoided death when his vehicle veered off the highway and plunged into the frozen pond. The accident occurred near Monticello, Minnesota on Interstate 94 around 6:30 a.m. Friday, the Associated Press reported.

Thankfully, the driver managed to get out of the truck, crawl to safety, and was taken to the hospital, treated, and released the same day. The State Patrol tweeted out updates about the crash, including this photo of the truck half-submerged in water. The pond is about 7 to 8 feet deep and was covered with 6 inches of ice, according to authorities.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reader Giveaway: Missoni for Target hair barrette

As regular readers of my blog will recall, back in September I had a reader giveaway for Missoni for Target stationery. And then last month, I had another one for Missoni gloves. So to celebrate the New Year, I thought that I'd have one last Missoni giveaway: this time for a groovy hair barrette in Missoni's classic black/white chevron print. To win, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post - along with your email address - by Thursday, Jan. 12th. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only, and the winner (picked at random) will be announced on Friday the 13th. Good luck!

Jason Wu RTW vs. Jason Wu for Target

Just for fun, I thought we'd take a look at Jason Wu's ready-to-wear line (available at Bergdorf Goodman) in comparison to his upcoming Target collection. On the left is a floaty dress from Wu's Spring RTW collection, which retails for a whopping $2,375. By the way, that's not counting the coordinating turn-lock belt, which will set you back another $495.

On the right is proof that Wu seems to be drawing inspiration from his RTW line for his budget line at Target, despite the fact that he's quoted as saying his goal "was not to duplicate anything from my main collection." Pictured is a Jason Wu for Target ad from People Stylewatch (courtesy of The Budget Babe) that shows a similar flirty, feminine dress. Both have a sheer neckline, a full skirt, and are cinched tight at the waist. Even the prints are similar, with one in varigated dots and the other in daisy print. The Target version, however, will only cost you around $60.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Look: Jason Wu for Target

Preview pics have surfaced for the upcoming Jason Wu for Target collection... and early reviews are all over the map. As shown at left, the first pic is a nautical themed dress (courtesy of T Magazine), the second shows a black/white printed dress (via Glamour Magazine's website) and the third shows a pastel striped frock (from an ad in Lucky Magazine). Racked.com and Fashionista both gush over the collection, with Racked calling it "something to look forward to in the cold, bleak month ahead", and Fashionista calling it "flirty and feminine" and stating it's "the first designer collab that we’ve really, truly wanted to buy many things from in a while". My fellow blogger The Recessionista, on the other hand, calls herself "underwhelmed", and as a fan of Wu's full priced line, misses "the floral abstract prints and the feminine touches of the Jason Wu pieces I've seen at Saks Fifth Avenue."

I'm not as familiar with Wu's work (outside of the pieces he's done for Michelle Obama) so for me, the jury's still out. As with most of Target's designer collabs, it's really hard to tell from just the preview shots, as they're always so posed and stylized. I'll need to see the goods in person and check the quality, cut and fit before I weigh in. I do like the retro-feeling I'm getting from his designs, though. Wu was quoted as taking his inspiration from French New Wave films and actress Jean Seberg, which means we can expect pleated frocks, sailor-stripes, blouses with neck ties and collars, and tennis skirts. "My goal was not to duplicate anything from my main collection. Instead I designed completely new clothes and accessories that reflect my taste and have a voice of their own,” said Wu, referring to the collection's vibe as “gamine chic.”

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Harajuku Mini for Target hits stores

It looks like a second wave of Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Mini for Target line has hit stores. I noticed this on the rack the other day, and thought that some of the merchandise looked new... and sure enough, a quick check on Target's website shows the latest installment of her collection for babies, toddlers and girls. This collection seems to have more of a Spring-vibe, and is heavy on sailor stripes, nautical brights, and mermaid motifs.

So long, Christmas... Hello Valentine's Day

Happy New Year, readers! I wish all of you a happy, healthy, and fabulous 2012!! So as you can imagine, in the retail business, it's always about the "next big thing". And with Christmas long gone, and already into day two of the new year, Target has gone full-force into the next big holiday: Valentine's Day. A couple of you wrote me about seeing Valentine's merchandise right after Christmas, and it was also documented on Patch.com. And I witnessed it myself on the morning of NYE when I made one last Target-run for the year; I had wanted to buy a New Year's card for my hubby, but all the NY cards were already gone and replaced with Valentine's cards. I also saw several Valentine's endcaps with decorations, stationery, and the like.

Now I've written about Target's practice of "rushing the holidays" before, and I'm not a fan. How about you, dear readers? Are you reading to move on, or is it too soon for Cupid?