Hello-Hello, happy-almost-Friday! (Actually, we’re kind of at that point in the calendar when the days start to blend into one another, especially if one is employed in a retail business.)
Today we have a few quick tidbits, beginning with an update on that Target/Neiman Marcus collaboration that launched Sunday morning.
A quick refresher, this is a 50-piece collection being sold by both retailers, featuring designs by 24 upscale designers. Early reports are not stellar, more from Ann Zimmerman in Tuesday’s Journal:
Wall Street analysts and customers alike expressed surprise that crowds weren’t bigger and sales not stronger at many locations, despite a spate of high-profile advertising, including prime-time television commercials.
Your faithful scribe took it upon herself to investigate the collection, venturing out yesterday with The Consort. Below, Exhibit A, the Tracy Reese top at $79.99.
From the product description:
Tracy Reese delivers her signature elaborate patterns, bold colors and intricate embellishments in this damask sequined blouse. The exuberant look of the two-tone color block impresses without imposing.
The piece just didn’t look terribly elegant or exuberant in person. If anything, it looked loud and cheap. It is 100% polyester, it felt flimsy and scratchy, and at $80, priced beyond most Target customers, with quality unlikely to impress Neiman’s customers.
Back to our reconnaissance mission, here is the Tory Burch Lunchbox.
At $19.99 the price wasn’t troublesome, the print was pretty and the hardware shown on the right felt solid and weighty in the hand. But the material for the body of the lunchbox itself felt flimsy, the insulation not as hefty as I expected. Hmmmm.
The one piece I was really excited about was Prabal Gurung’s Cape. The design is über-elegant, the cape fabric was okay (wool/poly blend), construction and finishing were more than adequate and the sprinkling of the sparklies ever-so-delicate. There were plenty left in all sizes, so at $79.99 this one looked like a no-brainer. Until I felt the lace ties.
The ties felt…. well, my trusty companion came up with a great word: cheesy. Insert sad face here.
Back to the Journal story:
The unusual designer fashion collaboration between Target Corp. and Neiman Marcus Group Inc. began with a whimper this past weekend, according to analysts, far from the bang the companies were counting on to improve holiday sales.
To be fair, the tale sounds somewhat different in varying parts of the country. For example, Orange County, here is more from a story in the Register:
NEWPORT BEACH – Shoppers lined up at Fashion Island as early as 4 a.m. Saturday morning to be among the first to nab designer goods launched through a new Target and Neiman Marcus collaboration.
More on what was popular from the Register’s article.
Neiman Marcus Public Relations Manager Michaele Hall marveled over the $59.99 tote bag from high-end fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. They predicted the tote to be one of the most popular items with customers. They were right on the money – the tote sold out in Orange County’s sole Neiman Marcus store within minutes and online within a couple hours.
Actually, the OdlR Tote is very much available online, at least as of this writing.
One thing that made sense, Target took precautions to avoid a problem experienced with many previous collaborations, people buying up huge quantities of merchandise for the sole purpose of re-selling it at a profit on eBay and other outlets. Customers were limited to only 5 of any specific item.
From our very limited exposure to the line the overwhelming impression was that the price points were much too high for the average Target customer, and merchandise too low-brow for the average Neiman Marcus shopper. Hopefully we’ll be proved wrong and both firms will do a brisk business through the end of the holiday season, the collection was designed to be available online and on selling floors that long, another reason there may be more inventory.
Our other topic today was prompted by an email from our pals at Country Club Prep.
They sent out a note that had such wonderful tartan items showcased we just had to do a little grazing of their goods. That prompted us to put together a few montages of holiday goodies available in some of our favorite motifs.
Above we show: upper left, the MacIntosh Tartan bow tie by High Cotton ($50), Castaway Clothing’s Fancy Pants in Royal Stewart ($155) Eliza B Ballet Flat ($115), all at Country Club Prep. Also shown, Preppy Planet’s iPhone 4 or 5 Case ($24.50 to $52), Pendleton’s Merino Wool Throw blanket ($118), the LL Bean Scotch Plaid shirt for women ($44.95), Wool Clutch by FABbyCAB on etsy ($60).
But the holiday red tones weren’t enough, we continued looking at things and ended up putting together another collage of goodies in that classic Black Watch pattern.
From the upper left, the Electric Plate Warmers, the Men’s Dress shirt at Orvis, classic Harris Tweed bag, in the second row we show Ralph Lauren’s Plaid Infant Overalls at Saks ($157), Preppy Planet iPad/Kindle/Netbook Cases ($30 – 50), set of 2 Tartan Towels at Williams-Sonoma ($38), Lands’ End Men’s Belt ($19.97). IN the third row, the Heritage Wool Duffle Coat at LL Bean (originally $229, now $129), Ralph Lauren Wool Driving Cap ($99.99), Preppy Planet phone cases and the Wine Bottle Tote at Williams-Sonoma.
Here at the Prepatorium we have gone a little mad for plaid. Behold, some of the Consort’s latest creations.
Those are some of his phone case designs ($24.50 – 50), they also come monogram-free.
Thank you for popping in to visit, until next time, may all of your shopping be stress-free.