Target Hits the British Bull's-Eye

Remember when Target was just a big-box store with a weird dog for a mascot?

Remember when it was no different from the Kmarts and Wal-Marts of the world?

In the past two decades, Target has successfully branded itself as the somehow-non-evil corporate discount chain we see it as today—red, white and cool all over, with fun advert campaigns, unique branding and pop-y marketing.

But more than anything else, Target’s collections have helped it secure its spot in the consumer spectrum, even gaining a spotlight with the elite press, the Vogues and the Vanity Fairs. While Kmart has Martha Stewart (and don’t get me wrong, I worship Stewart, but she’s not exactly the face of youthful hipness right now), Target focuses on Shaun White, Alexander McQueen, Rodarte, Anna Sui and Isaac Mizrahi. Wal-Mart, perhaps finally taking notice, dropped its Kathie Lee Gifford line for one by Max Azria and Miley Cyrus.

Now, Target continues its tradition of working with some of the biggest and trendiest in the game. This time? Liberty of London.

Liberty and Co. is a 135-year-old department store in London’s popular Regent Street shopping district. The store became known for its imported wares: world-renowned fabrics, objets d’art, Asian goods. In the late 1800s, owner Arthur Liberty began manufacturing what has come to be known as his art fabrics—predominantly floral designs with which Liberty is still identified. Even now, micro-floral print is often referred to as Liberty print, whether or not the fabric is indeed manufactured by Liberty. The company has worked with some prominent fashion houses, including Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent. And now it’s pairing with Target for some affordable goods Stateside.

Liberty of London for Target includes not only fashion and accessories for men, women and children, but also some sweet home and gardening items. And it will all be accessible to most consumers, from $3.99 for a girls’ headband set to $199.99 for a floral bicycle.

Some standout favorites of the collection include print skinny ties ($19.99 each), ceramic teapots ($12.99) and planters ($9.99). But the bike? The bike is awesome.

The Liberty of London for Target collection launched earlier this week—and the Jean Paul Gaultier for Target collection is also in stores. Just avoid those tattoo-print bikinis. Please.

This column appeared in print as "British Bull’s-Eye."



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