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.
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]