The runaway (or runway!) success of Target's Go International and Kohl's DesigNation programs, which boast affordable, mass produced collections by high-end designers, have made fancy style more accessible than ever. Designer Michael Kors has predicted the end of "fast fashion," where prestige brands and designers create limited collections for discount retailers. I'm not as quick to agree with the fabulous designer's death knell for the high-low hybrids.
Target's collaboration with Joseph Altuzarra, which hits the big red bullseye on September 14, is a reminder that fast fashion and cheap chic are still viable retail options and can introduce luxe designers to all sorts of shoppers. I have a bag and sunglasses addiction and you can find random Elizabeth and James, Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, and more pieces in my closet, but I still shop at Target on a weekly basis and I always peruse the Go and Mossimo collections, often purchasing from them. Go has introduced me to a few designers I wasn't super familiar with prior, as well.
Since I can't get enough of these collabs, I would like to offer up my humble suggestions for some hypothetical designer x mass market teams. The high-low mashup is not the dirty word that Kors is making it out to be.
I realize that a certain level of fashion and its artistry has often been reserved for the elite few of society. Yes, it's true that mass produced items, as opposed to hand-stitched couture, will look and feel different, as well as come with a markedly disparate price tag. But high-low hybrids allow everyone to look and feel good. Here are 7 designers who I'd love to see team up with Target, Kohl's, or any other mass market retailer, stat.
1. Diane von Furstenberg
DVF's signature, looks-good-on-every-woman wrap dresses would fit perfectly at Express, which sells fashionable office and going out pieces. She could totally do a wrap for the mall retailer, similar to the print DVF dress that the impeccably and infinitely stylish Kate Middleton wore.
2. Marc Jacobs
Jacobs was a part of the 2012 Target x Neiman Marcus Christmas collection, where dozens of designers crafted pieces for the retailer. It was considered a retail flop, but I nabbed Jacobs' black scarf and rose gold pouch, and love both equally. Jacobs could return to tht well and craft a limited edition, single statement bag for Target. I'm thinking a crossbody with lots and lots of zippers.
3. Victoria Beckham
Posh Spice's designs are flawless. She has found her niche. Her dresses always look amaze on the celebs who wear them and often highlight the figure, like the clingy, cornflower blue frock Jennifer Lawrence wore a few years ago. The former Spice Girl should get with White House Black Market to do an LBD in a similar shape!
The Rodarte "Radarte" hoodie and sweats, like the one Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wears, are fun and comfy, without sacrificing style. The sisters could do two or three sweatshirt options — with a hoodie, without a hoodie, with short sleeves — for American Eagle Outfitters. Since the brand, which has also teamed with Opening Ceremony, is hip and cool, why not target co-eds who will soon be shopping for workwear? The hoodies could be dressed up or down and don't need to be reserved for athletic pursuits.
5. House of Harlow 1960
Nicole Richie's House of Harlow 1960 brand, which recently teamed up with teen-centric PacSun, certainly nods to the hippie chic of the '60s and '70s, since Richie herself helped usher in the boho look. The brand is not outrageously overpriced, but it's not cheap by any means. She could do a range of sunglasses, which she does so well, for Anthropologie, which also pays homage to the vintage looks of the past.
6. Stella McCartney
McCartney already designs for Adidas, but her shoes are to die for. The Hadley booties from a few seasons ago are aces. She could craft a small boot or booties range, which would be vegan, of course, for Topshop, since the brand is British, just like her!
7. Elizabeth and James
The Olsen Twins can keep The Row at the highest level of prestige, but how Elizabeth James, which is contemporary, partnering with Urban Outfitters? They should craft a range of tees for trendy girls! They could be extra long, cropped, mullet-shapped, and perfect for layering, Mary-Kate style.