Target Should Do a Plus-Size Designer Collaboration with Garner Style


Last week, Chastity Garner-Valentine from Garner Style launched a hashtag #BoycottingTarget. At first I thought this boycott was about the Open Carry thing, or maybe it was about how they keep getting hacked. It was none of that. This boycott has to do with what “straight” sized women have been enjoying for well over a decade. Chastity wanted to know why Target has not yet come out with a plus-size designer collaboration, or even included plus sizes in existing collaborations. She then announced that she would not shop at Target until they started to include plus-sizes in collaborations.

The first Target “designer collaboration” started in 2002, with Issac Mizrahi. Over the years, hot designers like Rodarte, Missoni, Proenza Schouler, Peter Piloto, and Phillip Lim, have released capsule collections at the mass market retailer, but in the twelve years, never have they acknowledged plus sizes. Target does have a more fashion forward plus-size line called “Pure Energy” which carries trendier items like sheer maxi skirts, digital print swimsuits, army jackets and basically almost everything they also carry for straight sizes.

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It seems natural that a retailer  which makes a point to appealing to all members of the family, that Target would be one of the first to test out the fashion-conscious plus-size market by collaborating with luxury designers. In 2012, British plus size clothing retailer, Evans collaborated with Clements Ribiero, stateside, Lane Bryant has launched collabs with Isabel Toledo and Sophia Thallet. The reality is that even within this particular vertical in fashion, designer collaborations are scarce.

That said, I personally have always had mixed feelings about designer collabs. I always want to like them, but I personally rarely buy. For me, quality and attention to fit is the reason why I love luxury, which cannot be completely present in fast fashion. It just is impossible. However, I still believe that the plus-size community should have an equal opportunity to be disappointed in a designer collaboration.

However, not all collaborations disappoint. I find the most exciting collaborations happen when the goal is to create something new.

There have been successful fashion collaborations with actual bloggers. The GabiFresh/Swimsuits 4 All  collaboration was excellent and successful enough to run two years in a row. Chastity has both the fashion sense and the dedicated following to make for a hugely successful collaboration with Target. I mean, if Target can collaborate with Oh Joy! (which has similar numbers in terms of social media followings), it would be an exciting opportunity for both parties.

Perhaps if this collaboration works, fashion designers will see that there is indeed a demand and follow suit.

What do you think?

[Image credits: Garner Style]

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23 Responses

  1. Erin

    I get very excited about collabs, because I have “slow” fashion tastes on a fast-fashion budget, and I thought a lot of the pieces from Target’s most recent one looked outstanding. I don’t know why, but it never occurred to me that they wouldn’t be available in plus sizes. How naive. How disappointing. I would love to see a what Garner Style could come up with! I’d also love to say that I would boycott Target until they do, but I am also a fan of being realistic!

  2. Krysten

    I think it’s not as big of a deal as she & others are making it. Not every store wants to carry plus sized clothing, and boycotting a store for not carrying your size is like boycotting a grocery store that doesn’t carry a brand of food that you like. Big deal, shop somewhere else that has what you want/need. In the current market there are PLENTY of retailers offering plus sized clothing. It’s not like there’s a shortage of options anymore. I’m plus sized, and if a store doesn’t have my size, then I get what I need elsewhere. But I think that boycotting a store where I could purchase other things I need just because they didn’t have a dress I liked in my size is stupid.

    • Kate Isaac

      I completely agree with you. Not every store wants to carry plus-sized clothing and designers are notoriously picky about the sizes they are prepared to run up to. I struggle to get in to some “designer” clothing and I’m a US size 10 but I don’t start complaining or threatening to take my business elsewhere! You just move on and get over it.

  3. stacey

    She happens to be 100% right. I am one of the founders of Lola Getts Active(think Lululemon but for plus size). Given that 67% of American women are size 14 or larger you would think retailers would see a huge opportunity but they chose to not embrace this customer for the most part. Here’s a great example Sports Chalet Sporting Goods carries plenty of merchandise for everyone with the exception of plus size activewear. They know she is shopping for her family members in their stores but allows her to leave empty handed because they don’t carry anything for her. the funniest part is a majority of their female employees are plus size and they can’t buy anything for themselves in their employers stores…
    Until the plus size or curvy gal speaks up things will stay the same..Isn’t their money just as valuable as their skinny counterparts?

  4. Jen

    Honestly I do like colabs because it’s interesting to see what the designers come up with. To bring different styles and designs is always a huge plus. I strongly feel that plus sized women are overlooked in today’s marketplace. Because a woman is over a size 14, it doesn’t mean they don’t want nor deserve to dress as fabulous as their size 2 counterparts. As an individual who has been on both sides of the spectrum, it can be a pain to find a cute top that isn’t cut in a flowy, maternity – style or pants that show off our curves the way they should be. Given the average size of the American woman IS a size 14, it would strongly behoove designers to cater to that market. Clothing should be a form of self – expression and to ultimately make someone feel good about themselves. Plus sized women do not have that at their disposal.

  5. Reiko

    I absolutely co sign Target doing a collabo with Chasity of Garner Style! She is stylish, knowledgable and is a real woman who knows what thick chicks want. Make this happen!

  6. Alea Jay

    First, Chastity shouldn’t be judged for starting the boycott. I bet some important ears obviously side with her or at least heard her argument. Obviously, it made it HERE! Plus sizes in America is just necessary. She certainly has the talents to collaborate with them. I say Go GarnerStyle. I’m a size 18 thank you in advance! *wink

    Alea Jay
    HoneyBeNatural. Com

  7. Adrienne Specter

    Teeny tiny girls have problems finding clothes too. You don’t see us boycotting or making a huge fuss out of this “unjust” issue either.

  8. Nia Boice

    I have been boycotting target my whole life and I am happy that someone is making it a point to at least attempt a plus size colab with them maybe I could finally shop at target because I would love to that have some fly attire and accessories

  9. Bella Moxie

    We would love and support a collaboration between the beautiful Garner Style and Target, but I think supporters of this boycott are forgetting something. By boycotting we are allowing our voices to go silent. At Bella Moxie we respectfully disagree. We don’t think going silent will bring any action and here’s why: Sure money talks but did you know that they brought in close to $72.6 million last year?!?! Unless everyone in the world boycotts Target, our boycotting may make a dent..but I am not sure they’ll even notice..
    Going silent may be what Target wants?!? I mean if the allegations are true.
    So as a MN native and avid Target shopper I have created this petition to SHOW Target that WE ARE WORTH THEIR ATTENTION and BUSINESS! Don’t fade into the abyss of boycotting, let’s show Target that we are here to stay!!

    Join us by signing this petition, requesting a bigger and better collection of plus size fashion at Targets nationwide. Sign the petition here:

  10. CynthiaCM

    Unless it’s H&M, I often don’t bother dealing with these collabs – especially at stores like Target. I went to the Jason Wu pop-up when they stopped in Toronto a few years ago (shortly after Target announced its Canadian launch) and even the tiniest sizes fit like a TENT on me. Size 2 is sometimes a bit big thanks to vanity sizing, but it shouldn’t be HUGE. It’s the difference between the typical Target clientele and H&M. I imagine Wal-Mart would be even bigger (I have never purchased clothes at Wal-Mart).

  11. AhhhSoNeo

    I think in todays world, boycotts are useless. Unless you have a massive support system behind you, but even then, the “dent” – if any, made by boycotts on these huge companies is minimal. I have no faith in their effectiveness. Plus, not to be a naysayer, but why not just take your money elsewhere, and not bother with the false hype of the collabs anyway? If she had no choice but to shop at Target then it would be understandable, but at the end of the day businesses can choose who they sell to and what they sell.

  12. Zynthia

    Why are we boycotting, why don’t we start an online campaign or a petition. I’m not sure about you but I shop at target for my whole family because it’s in my budget and my kiddos sand hubby can be outfitted in stylish clothes at “not the mall prices”. I say we jump all over Targets Twitter feed and Facebook page letting them know what we as the consumer want.

  13. Eva Tornado

    As for me, this is not a such great idea to boycott something. As many people, as many sizes and there is no reason to start a “war” against any of them. I can understand a PR or a marketing idea of this hashtag and so on, but I do not understand why create one more conflict in the world full of conflicts.

  14. Molly

    I personally think it’s ridiculously unfair to boycott a company just because you can’t get cheap designer clothes in your size. They DO carry many plus size items- just not as part of high end designer collaborations. Target, to the best of my knowledge, has never said or done anything offensive enough to warrant starting a conflict in this way. If you want something, campaign! Blow up their social media feeds. Email them. Call them. Tell your friends. But encouraging people not to shop there is well unnecessary.

  15. Lynne Jackson

    As a plus size woman I can see her point, but I don’t see how a boycott will really be effective. As a born and bred pessimist I’m going to go against the grain and suggest that something positive be done, and agree with the previous suggestions of campaigning.

  16. Inspired Rose

    I think its really noble of her to stand by something that means so much to her personally.
    Its hard enough in these times to actually put an argument out there knowing the masses of people that may be against you.

    Fashion should empower and I guess that’s what she wants to do, feel empowered through a brand she knows and loves. My company focuses on supporting an styling and I have just recently started a blog:

  17. Jordan

    Boycotting apparently worked for Chastity because as of 2015 she is one of the people who are on hand to Collab with Target along with GabiFish and another plus size blogger. I do a review of how I feel about this new collab on my blog. Feel free to check it out and let me know what you think.