Today’s the day, the launch of the Target Neiman Marcus collaboration with designers like Diane von Furstenberg, Prabal Gurung, Tory Burch and other brands you would never in a zillion years find at the big red bullseye. So, I set my alarm for 6:30. And then push snooze and nod back off until I wake up in a panic at 7:30 and realize if I don’t get out of bed right now, I’m going to miss this. Or at least postpone it until 10, when Neiman Marcus opens. So, off I go, back to Midtown, the scene of the WuGate scandal. And as soon as I pull into the parking lot, I see it. Not one but two TV trucks. And the whole time I’m thinking, great, I’m late to this party.
After parking, I race to the storefront and take my place in what appears to be a very lackluster line. I get there literally six minutes before it opens and this is all that is in front of me. I guess the big news story is how this isn’t really a story afterall. No chaos. No crazed housewives sleeping out the night before in tents. No sign of that jerk who took the entire Jason Wu collection. In a gab-fest with the people behind me, I find out Target decided to implement some rules this go-round, too, which were most likely put into place by Neiman Marcus, since they were involved this time. The ground rules: No more than five of the same item at Target or Neimans or online for both.
And then the doors open and a quiet, single-file line filters into the store, where we are directed to the back, near to the maternity section, where the entire collection is in one spot. And here I am thinking it would be spread all over the store, leaving me racing around like a crazy person. Even more shocking, people are civilized, taking their time to get shopping carts, no running, pushing, shoving. As we pick, gawk and collect, Target employees come out with giant carts and refill what we take. There is no screaming. No demanding the employees go to the back room and find more. No ripping open boxes (all the madness that took place during Missoni for Target). It is eerily organized, even peaceful.
So, how’s the quality. It’s better than I expect on some things. And what I expect on others. The prices are not typical Target prices, and definitely not Neiman Marcus prices. But I just can’t justify this Marc Jacobs bag for nearly $60 knowing I can find a Marc by Marc Jacobs one for probably the same price.
The first things to go are the Carolina Herrera travel bags, along with the Joseph Altuzarra tray. The matching shaker is also a nice gift. As are the Derek Lam slippers. The not so fab quality is the Marc Jacobs scarf and the Skaist Taylor hat with ears I thought I had to have. But the most important thing I take away from this collection is that Target finally gets it right. Rules, structure, constant refills. It is organized. Sadly, though, it’s also over. After Missioni for Target, I think it’s safe to say the designer collab has grown tired. The frenzy once surrounding them is no more. Whether it’s the sub-par quality of previous collections (hey, it is Target, what do you expect) and the madness of waiting in line for that sub-par qualty, fighting people and succumbing to collab poachers, it’s just not worth it. So while Target did implement rules, it seems they came too little and too late. But if you still have a desire to see what all the media hype was about, here are my top four picks:
The Skaist Taylor vest. It’s just weird and warm enough to wear to Basel.
Top pick of the day: This Rag and Bone sweater. If you are lucky enough to fit into the little boy’s version, it’s $20 cheaper.
The dessert plates from Tracy Reese are impressive. You can’t tell from the pics, but the gold trim around the plates is a nice touch.
These travel bags from Carolina Herrera are the first things to go. $40 seems a bit pricey, but they are good quality and a perfect holiday gift.
And there you have it, the Neiman’s Target collab. Been there, done that, didn’t get a head injury from anyone trying to nab the Prabal Gurung cape, of which I have a feeling will be on clearance sooner than later.