I enjoy designer collaborations, and I generally see them as a good thing. I think they can be a win-win for stores like Target and H&M, as well as the designers when executed well. They bump up the style quotient of the store and hopefully introduce more people to brands like Proenza Schouler and Margiela. These stylish pieces at affordable prices allow more people to get a taste of the fashion industry.
However, the designer and corporation still need to be aware of quality issues and not compromise on materials/construction. In 2010, I purchased a satin tuxedo jacket in the Zac Posen for Target collaboration. I love the piece. Honestly, it was one of my favorite designer cheapies ever. It looks great with jeans and it has really cute details — navy trim, fabric covered buttons, etc.
I wore it a handful of times but not excessively. Maybe a half-dozen times, tops. A few months ago, I pulled it out of my closet and noticed in horror that the seams in the back were completely coming apart. The fabric was wrecked. Torn, shredded, a total nightmare. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I mean, it’s not like I gained tons of weight and ripped it, Incredible Hulk style. Seriously? I took it to my tailor and she said it was a lost cause. She told me the fabric was basically like a big ribbon and it was bound to fray and fall to pieces eventually.
I know the jacket wasn’t that expensive ($49.99), and I guess I shouldn’t have expected it to last forever, but wow. I was pissed. I’m still angry at Target and angry at Zac Posen, or whoever approved this mess. I’m also embarrassed. Shouldn’t I know better than to buy some cheap piece made in who knows where? It really made me question if I even wanted to buy any of the Prabal Gurung for Target pieces. I did get a few, and I really like them, but how they hold up remains to be seen.
I’m still hoping that this jacket can be saved, but it will probably take a very creative miracle. Maybe some of it can be salvaged and transformed into something more fabulous.