Target Spring 2015 Collaboration!

             On Thursday, January 7, Target announced the company’s spring 2015 collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer. The 250 product line addresses the categories of womenswear, girls, swim, beauty and home (wwd.com). The price point ranges from $25 to $250, though 200 of the products are expected to retail for roughly $30 (fashionista.com). 15 new, undeniably Lilly Pulitzer prints were designed exclusively for this collaboration with Target (forbes.com). Additionally, this is the first collaboration where Target is carrying plus-size options in womenswear (peoplestylewatch.com). The collection will launch in stores and online on April 19, just in time for spring break. It sounds like this collection is prepared for great success, though some are hesitant to get behind it.
            Many avid Lilly Pulitzer shoppers turned to Twitter as an outlet to express their frustrations with the collection. Refinery 29 posted an article titled 39 Girls Who Are Mad As Hell About Lilly Pulitzer For Target. In this article multiple tweets are referenced, one being “if people say they got something from Lilly at Target…the name will lose its prestige. The brand was kinda built on class” (refinery29.com).  Overall, it seemed that the majority was most concerned with this collaboration degrading the Lilly Pulitzer brand image.
            Feeling curious, I started to research if there was a similarly negative reaction to the Altuzarra for Target collection, which launched in September 2014. Unable to find anything substantial, I asked myself what is it specifically about Lilly Pulitzer for Target that some are finding offensive.  Past collaborations have been wildly successful, particularly the partnership with Missoni which caused the Target website to crash and stores sold out of product in a matter of days.  Personally, I think the cause of these mixed reactions is that Lilly Pulitzer isn’t exclusive enough.
          A classic Lilly Pulitzer shift dress ranges in price from $168 to $288.  According to missoni.com, that would buy you a winter knit hat on markdown, and a comparable dress in silhouette and fabrication is over $2,000 at full price. Therefore, middle to upper-middle class Americans can likely afford Lilly Pulitzer whereas a small percentage can afford Missoni. I think Missoni for Target felt like a dream come true while Lilly Pulitzer for Target might be like shopping the outlet store. Still, the preppy aesthetic is popular, plus-size is an important market, and the products appear well designed from the look book. For these reasons I predict that many Americans will still shop the collection. As for me, I’ll be on the sidelines waiting for reports on those April 19 sales figures to roll in.
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