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Fashion

Designer collaborations make fashion affordable

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November 8, 2012

I’ve loved the fashion industry since I was young. I don’t even know where this love came from because my parents shop exclusively at Levi’s, Eddie Bauer and Columbia. Not exactly “fashion forward.”

I can’t remember when I became aware of the glamorous world of fashion, but I’ve paid attention to designers for years.

The only problem with being a fashion junkie is the price. I don’t know about you, but I can’t just drop hundreds of dollars on one shirt or bracelet.

I could probably save up for a while and purchase something that costs that much, but I would feel guilty about it.

As a college student, I could spend that money on any number of things, namely tuition or rent.

Therefore I bypass a lot of fashion. I tell myself I can wait for a few years until I’m graduated and fully employed, but in reality, I know I still won’t be able to afford labels like Prada or Dior.

However, some designers decide to make their clothes available to everyone and develop one of my favorite things: collaboration with a mass-market store.

Target and H&M have the biggest collaborations, but other stores like Kohl’s are beginning to introduce designer collaborations. One well-known collaboration was Missoni for Target, which was released in the fall of 2011.

Missoni is an Italian brand famous for colorful, busy, prints on knitwear.

I was so excited for this collaboration, which featured over 400 pieces, including a cruiser bike.

The day the Missoni collection went on sale, Target’s website crashed from traffic, and pieces were bought out all across the nation. Missoni for Target was certainly not Target’s first foray into designer collaborations.

Past collaborations include Jason Wu, Jean Paul Gaultier, William Rast and Zac Posen. These collaborations included pieces ranging in prices.

A skirt might be $35, a pair of gloves $20 and a faux leather jacket $120.

While still steep, these prices are much more wallet-friendly than the “real deal.”

Some examples? A Jason Wu tweed dress retails for $1,495 at Neiman Marcus. I bought my first car for less than that Jason Wu dress. I drove it for two years.

A Jean Paul Gaultier silk blouse retails for $995. That kind of fashion is definitely not going to happen for me.

Target isn’t the only store with designer collaborations.

H&M has scored some big fashion names, including Versace, Lanvin and Karl Lagerfeld, who is the legendary creative director of Chanel.

Kohl’s has even jumped into the mix with its “DesignNation,” which will work with designers to create capsule collections. Narciso Rodriguez, who has dressed the First Lady, designed the first collection.

I still believe Target has the best collaborations. This holiday season may be Target’s best collection yet.

Target and Neiman Marcus, a luxury retailer, have partnered up and created the “Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection.”

This collection features pieces from 24 American fashion designers including Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg and Marc Jacobs.

Expect these pieces to sell out quickly. I know I’ll be lined up at door before the store opens.

I think these collaborations are amazing. They bring high fashion to people like me; I read at least three fashion magazines cover to cover every month.

I read fashion blogs every day and I follow fashion editors on Twitter, yet I can’t buy everything I see.

To be able to say I own a piece that was designed by someone whose work I truly admire is awesome.

Amanda White is a junior majoring in journalism. She appreciates good books, good style, and good conversation.