I noticed something strange at my local Target the other day. Wandering around the shoe section, I noticed a low shelf on which lay half-opened boxes of rain boots and little girls’ flats all done in the same striking colorful zigzag design. Looking closer, I saw the sign that said, ‘Missoni for Target.’ Apparently, Missoni, the high-end Italian brand known for it colorful patterns, debuted its Target line that day, and what I was looking at were the measly remains of the collection. According to the LA Times, the collection caused such a mayhem in stores and online. Shoppers eager to bring the stuff home were lined up outside the store at dawn, and the Target website actually crashed due to the ‘unexpectedly overwhelming volume of response.’
A zigzag cardigan retails at Saks Fifth Avenue for around $600. If you went to Target this past Tuesday, or shopped their online store, you could have your very own Missoni items for about $40.
What Is It About Those Zigzags?
Target has had many designer collaborations in the past, but the response to Missoni is just remarkable. Plenty of the shoppers of course are just Ebay sellers looking to make a little fortune out of reselling the goods online, but that does not take away from the fact that the somewhat psychedelic abstracts and stripes hold great allure to many. Perhaps because it is an Italian brand–there’s something luxuriously exotic about it. I reckon that the very thing Missoni is known for, the kaleidoscope of colors, as well as the abstract and geometric patterns speak volumes to a lot of people. It is also an alternative. It’s print, but it’s not plaid. It’s striped, but it’s not nautical. It’s floral, but it’s not your Grandma’s chintz. It’s bold but it’s not gaudy. See? To people who are tired of plain, gray and black and white, it expresses color and pattern in a chic and laid-back kind of way with a little hint of vintage thrown in there. Somehow I think it is not too different from Paul Smith’s colorful swirls and waves. It just says, ‘Bohemian with great taste.’ Below are some examples of classic Missoni patterns.
For the home, their throws and pillows are beautifully crafted and brilliantly colored, just be what a tired neutral sofa needs.
Have a cupboard full of restaurant-like white plates and platters? Mixing it up with the line’s colorful plates add a little excitement.
A Word of Caution
Like all its other high-low designer collaborations in the past, the collection is limited. Except for items available from people returning items, it is unclear how much more of the line will be available. Target originally planned to have it run through October, but the collection was wiped out in virtually a day. On Ebay, by Wednesday afternoon, there were more than 32,000 Missoni for Target items available, with some hawkers asking as much for their Missoni for Target as Missoni for Missoni would cost! This is incredulous because even though the designs and patterns on this collaborations are authentic, the quality of the materials used as well as the craftsmanship are still big box store cheap, otherwise, Target would not be able to sell them at such a low price. In the end, the only thing similar between a polyester Missoni for Target throw and the real deal 100% wool Missoni throw, is the pattern. But then again, if you’re just going to throw it on the back of your sofa, who cares?