by Sharon Feiereisen
Starting October 30, three new designer collections are hitting Target
and I stopped by Conde Nast's New York City offices today to chat with the designers and preview all three. Hat designer Milliner Albertus Swanepoel
was the first designer I met because he complemented my Alexander Wang bag as I walked in, immediately putting me in a good mood! I asked him why he wasn't wearing a hat and he point out that he doesn't feel like he needs to be "a walking example of my craft," adding that he's usually lugging around fabric and tends to wear hats mostly in the wintertime for functional (over fashionable) purposes. His 14-piece collection (priced under $19.99) includes fedoras, floppy hats and cloches done in a variety of solid colors and prints and finished with details including ribbon, feathers, and sequin. Swanepoel told me that he's been itching to do a collection for Target since they teamed with Proenza Schouler and, on that note, I asked what his favorite piece in his line was. While he immediately picked up one of the faux fur hats, he ended up singling out nearly all of the hats, so it's safe to say that they're all, more or less, Swanepoel's favorites.
Equally excited about her collection for Target was jewelry designer Dana Kellin who nevertheless told me the request to collaborate came from Target's end and seemingly out of the blue. "They just called randomly one day! I thought it was customer service at first, but I guess my name was being tossed around by some of the other designers," Kellin remarked. As for her collection, it ranges in price from $9.99 to $34.99 and includes a variety of earrings and necklaces. The designer explained that she loved that at these prices it's easy for women to buy a few pieces and layer the necklaces. Further, she noted that while the pieces aren't handmade in Los Angeles like her high-end line, each piece stays true to her aesthetic which is often nature-inspired. Aside from nature, the designer was inspired by a recent Haider Ackermann collection for the blue in the range, which she balanced out with some softer blush pieces for, as she stated, "a wearable mix that will suit all skin tones."
The most visibly enthusiastic designer however was Josie Natori. The affable designer exclaimed that she hopes women like her collection enough to buy one of each and then began to proudly show off all of the pieces lining her two racks. Natori's 37 piece range includes bras, panties, robes, knit and woven pants, leggings, camis and chemises priced between $9.99 and $34.99. The pieces will be shipped in two parts - first the holiday collection on the 30th and then a Valentine's Day collection, which will hit on January 1.