Friday, March 30, 2012

Clearance Alert: Michael Graves

As I reported several weeks ago, Target has ended its longtime partnership with Michael Graves, and his last collection for the retailer debuted this month.  To make room for these new items, I've noticed that Target has put older items from his line on clearance in stores. Some of his more popular items - such as the bamboo salad servers, marble mortar and pestle, and melamine mixing bowl set shown here - are already sold out online. But look for endcaps in the kitchen/housewares section with smaller items like measuring cups, oven mitts, spoon rests, and other kitchen utensils marked down 30% or more.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What happened to Converse One Star?

What happened to Converse One Star? They used to be one of my go-to brands at Target, and I even listed them as one of my "favorite things" in my 2009 NYE roundup.  But I haven't bought anything from the line since I raved about this shirtdress over a year ago.  And while I always check out the line in store, I never find anything interesting enough to buy (which isn't surprising, given the boring Lookbook they put out this Spring).

What's more, I've also noticed that the brand seems to be repeating styles they've had before.  There's a short-sleeved cowl neck in stores right now that is virtually identical to one they offered last August; even the colors are the same.  And they keep trotting out the same flyaway cardigans and knit moto jackets season to season.

I've also noticed that their  fabrications are not the same as they used to be.  Case in point: this brand's winter coats were made of heavy, felted wool (which I know firsthand as I own two of them!) but last Fall/Winter, their coat offerings felt thinner and less substantial.   How about you, dear readers: are you still buying - and liking - Converse One Star?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Double-Take: Target vs. Ballard Designs

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from The Bullseye and match it up against a lookalike designer piece. This time we have two trendy sunburst wall mirrors, which are similar in style but definitely not in price. One is from Ballard Designs and will set you back $99, whereas the other one is from Target and only costs $24.19. Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kate's look for less, part deux...

Last Saturday's post about Kate Middleton's tangerine jeans inspired me to see what other styles of hers I could find at Tar-jay. It was almost exactly a year ago that Kate rocked this Burberry ruffled trench, which retails for a whopping $995. Now you can get a similar style by Xhilaration at Target for just under $40. And while the "Light Taupe" color is a close match for Kate's trench, you could instead opt for a pop of color and get it in a lovely shade called "Fifties Pink".

Friday, March 23, 2012

How Target became the chic/cheap leader...

More than a dozen years ago — long before Target had struck up a string of collaborations with elite fashion designers or cemented its reputation as the cheap-chic leader — the Bullseye’s marketing department called Vogue to buy space for several ads.

The response? "No, thank you".

Tom Nowak, president of Minneapolis-based Peterson Milla Hooks (Target’s ad agency at the time) recalled that the retailer got a letter saying, “We don’t want your money, because including a brand like Target would diminish the quality of our advertising.’ “

According to AdNewsNow, the only option was to make Target’s advertising more appealing. Target challenged PMH to devise a branding campaign that would help it break out of the mold of dowdy Midwestern discounter and redefine what a large retail store could do. PMH succeeded not just once, but with campaign after campaign that proved critical to securing Target’s reputation for great design.

And their work paid off: when Target launched their collection from Italian fashion house Missoni last Fall, they won Anna Wintour’s seal of approval and secured a 20-page insert in Vogue’s September issue (including the coveted back cover).

Retail experts say that what really put Target on the map was 1999′s “Sign of the Times” by PMH. The whimsical TV spots and billboards — which reinterpreted Target’s red-and-white bull’s-eye logo as a pattern for dresses, rugs and vacuums, and painted a bull’s-eye on the now-iconic dog — diverged from traditional retail ads. That departure from what the competition was doing set the tone for Target’s advertising program. Dave Peterson, PMH founder and creative director, said that “Sign of the Times” was a breakthrough for the agency because it was allowed to do work intended to elevate a brand rather than simply sell merchandise.

Sadly, as I reported back in September, the Missoni launch was the last project by Peterson Milla Hooks for Target, as the agency and retailer parted ways last Fall after working together for almost two decades. And now I’m concerned over the news that Target has also parted ways with the agency that replaced them, Wieden & Kennedy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Double-Take: Target Home vs. Ladybug Lane

It's time for another double-take, dear readers, where we take an item from Tar-jay and pair it up against a designer lookalike piece. Today we match up a lovely french script pillow cover (that's right: just the cover) from an artisan pillow site called Ladybug Lane for $35 against a whole pillow from Target Home for just $24.99. Outside of one being a bit more oblong, the similarity is striking, don't you think? So which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Back at Target: Method Body Wash

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Method has re-formulated their body wash line, and the new bottles have finally hit Target stores. They’ve re-stocked my beloved “White Tea” scent, as well as “Olive Leaf” (which I’ll try next) and there's also one called “Magnolia” (which was a bit on the heavy fruity floral side for my tastes). Like their previous body wash, this is a paraben-free, moisturizing formula, which I love because it leaves my skin soft with no greasy residue.

But for those of you who like more of a “squeaky clean” feel, I wonder if Method will bring back their other body wash line – “Marine Naturals” – or a similar version of it? And although I'm fond of the ergonomic shaped bottle, I do miss the pump dispensers Method used on their body wash products 3-4 years ago.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Product Review: Sonia Kashuk’s new Satin Lip Color

As I first mentioned about a month ago, Sonia Kashuk has phased out her old lipstick formula in favor of a new one with a “Satin” finish. While her old formula included both creamy and glazed shades, the new “Satin” versions seem to offer a subtle shine in a moisturizing base. I liked both the finish and the wear of this new formula; for me, it includes just the right amount of moisture and staying power (keeping in mind it is NOT a long-wearing product). I tried two of her new shades, one being “Sunkissed” (a bright, coral hue) and the other called “Sugar Plum" (a medium glazed berry, which I really liked).

One bummer, though, is that they've hiked up the price of this revamped product. Sonia's lipsticks used to be $8.99, and now they're $9.99 each. That's probably to accomodate for the newly-designed packaging, and the addition of the initials "SK" now etched into the end of each lipstick.

If you were a fan of her old formulation, you can still try to find it on clearance in stores, but most of it has sold out online. At this writing, the only color still left is “Coraline”, which looks to be very close to her new “Sunkissed” shade. You can also try to get her old lip colors on eBay.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Target's home decor sale is having a "Buy One Get One 50% off on Select Home D├ęcor" sale this week. When you buy one select Home Decor item, you get another select item at 50% off. Add both items to your cart to receive this offer, and the discount will be applied at checkout.

Now for the fine print: the discount not applicable to gift wrap, tax, or shipping and handling charges, may not be applied to previous orders. This offer also excludes clearance items. This offer expires on March 24th, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST.

According to Target's Weekly Ad, this offer is also good in stores, which gives you the opportunity to check the merchandise out first before you buy (not to mention save on shipping time + costs).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kate's look for less...

The fashion world was buzzing earlier this week when Kate Middleton stepped into the biggest trend of 2012: colored jeans. She chose tangerine jeans, a preppy blazer and scarf combo to visit Great Britian’s hockey team and then she changed into a hoodie and sneakers (paired with the same jeans) to hit the hockey field. Grab a pair of tangerine jeans for yourself with this wallet-friendly version by Mossimo at Target (shown near left) for just $22.99. Mossimo also offers a cropped version in a more coral-hue called "Crabshell" for the same price.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Double-Take: Mossimo vs. DVF

It's time for another double-take, where we take one item from Target and match it up against a lookalike (and much pricier) designer piece. Kudos to The Budget Babe for first spotting this double-take, although her high-end option is from ShopBop, whereas I found mine at Bloomingdales.

Now one of these black sky-high wedge sandals is from legendary designer Diane Von Furstenberg, and costs a whopping $295 at Bloomingdales. The other is from Mossimo (at Target) and is considerably less at just $29.99. Which one is which? The answer appears in the comments section below.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Clearance Alert: Jason Wu for Target

It was only a matter of time... and while the Jason Wu for Target collection still seems to be full price online, in stores it's now 30% off. Which is how I nabbed this adorable Milu the cat scarf today for just $13.98! After scoring this gem in the accessories aisle, I quickly scanned the clearance clothing racks to see what was left, and at my local store there seemed to be several of the sheer blouses (that had so many quality issues) and a few pleated skirts, and that was it. But if you're still interested in scoring Wu on the cheap, keep checking the clearance racks. I'm sure that some of the eBay vultures that were unable to make a profit will start returning their stash to stores.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Clearance Alert: Josie Natori for Target

The second capsule collection of Josie Natori for Target is now on clearance in stores and on The initial "Holiday" collection has been on sale since late December, and is now 50% off. And the second "Valentine's Day" collection is 30% off. There's still quite a few items left to choose from, like this pretty floral print kimono robe (which could also probably double as a top if you put a cami underneath it). But buyer beware: this line runs on the small side, so be sure to size up.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Target boosts fresh-food offerings

Target is boosting their fresh-food offerings. Starting later this month, more than 100 remodeled Target general merchandise stores will devote about 10,000 square feet to fresh foods, including produce. And by the end of the year, another 230 will offer the new layout.

Space gains vary by store, said Target spokeswoman Kristin Jahnke. “This is an increase in space,” she said. “To make room for the fresh food layout, we’ve contracted spaces within our various discretionary businesses such as home and apparel and accessories.” The remodels mean about a 40% bump in food offerings for Target’s general merchandise stores.

Expanded fresh offerings will include produce and packaged meats. A nationwide map of Target store locations receiving the expanded grocery layout is available online here.

New Harajuku Mini at Target...

The third installment of Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Mini for Target has hit stores. Her first collection was introduced back in November, and a second one debuted in January. This latest wave is saturated in red, white, blue, green and yellow, in fabrications of cotton, fleece, gingham, eyelet and denim. You can check out the full collection here on

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sonia Kashuk's new Satin Lip Colors

As I reported a couple of weeks ago, Sonia Kashuk is phasing out some of her beauty products (in particular, her lipsticks) in order to introduce new formulas. Her revamped lipsticks (shown here) will be hitting stores soon, along with the rest of her Spring 2012 line.

Sonia's new Satin Lip Colors with SPF 16 give your pout protection and intense moisture in a wide range of shades, including Ruby Rose, a bright raspberry reddish pink, and Barely Nude, a muted pink beige.

And now a programming note: I will be taking a "blogging break" for the next week or so. Regular posts should resume around March 12th.

Spring jewelry trends from Target...

Does your jewelry box need a refresh for Spring? Then I encourage you to head over to A Bullseye View for a gorgeous collection of new Spring styles from Target. I'm just showing two from the over 30 styles shown, and almost all of them link directly to (to view shopping availability and pricing).

Target notes the three key trends to look for are "colorful stones" (which I've shown a sampling of here), "minimilistic muse", and "geometric gems".

Goody to introduce heat styling tools at Target

They've been in the hair-styling business for years, and now Goody is about to release their first-ever hair dryer. Goody's Flash Dry Blow Dryer will hit Target stores soon. Goody told WWD that the Flash dryer ($36.99) is designed to speed up airflow, and therefore also reduce drying time by 35 percent (cutting roughly 15-20 minutes from each session).

Goody will also introduce the Wave Creator Styling Iron ($29.99) which will launch along with the Flash Dry Blow Dryer later this month at Target.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Target pulls Whitney Houston greeting card

Target is pulling a greeting card from store shelves that pokes fun at singer Whitney Houston's penchant for "bad boys".

According to the Associated Press, the retailer said in a statement yesterday that the card was sold in stores prior to the singer's death on Feb. 11th, and as soon as it was brought to their attention, they began the process of removing the offensive card. The card reads "The next time you think of dating the bad boy, consider Whitney Houston. That's all I'm going to say." The text refers to Houston's rocky relationship with ex-husband, singer Bobby Brown, who's been blamed for Houston's reported drug use.