With the saturation of hi/lo designer collabs out there, Racked.com muses whether the practice has finally jumped the shark. In looking over my 2012 blog posts, the list of Target's collabs is long: in January we still had what was left of Missoni on clearance, as well as the second installment of Josie Natori. February brought us Jason Wu, and throughout the year The Shops concept and Harajuku Mini were ongoing. September gave us Nate Berkus, and December brought the Neiman-Marcus collection... which by all accounts, seems to have been a flop.
February will bring Prabal Gurung to Target, and Racked has noticed that this collaboration hasn't been as buzzed about as you might expect. Compared to the flurry of excitement that Jason Wu's lookbook generated last year - which was one of the most popular posts of the year on
Racked - the announcement that Gurung is up next was met with only mild interest. Back in November, they asked Gurung if he thought designer collabs were still relevant. "There's
still a relevance factor, otherwise people wouldn't be doing it," he said. "Target were the pioneers of starting a collaboration like
this, and... this is like the benchmark that as a new designer you want
to keep. The audience that they have, hundreds of millions! As you grow
your brand, what you want to do is increase brand familiarity."
But fashion experts seem to disagree. "It's become very formulaic at this point," Mickey Boardman, editorial director of Paper Magazine, told the New York Post. "Everyone does them, and so they don't really seem as special."