Designer lines for less
Target is perhaps the earliest and best-known retailer to launch lower priced collections from high-priced designers. Early on, its efforts were dramatic, crossing product categories and much trumpeted. Michael Graves started it all and still has product in stores, Issac Mizrahi lasted five years, and Liz Lange's maternity line still shines, but other efforts didn't fare as well (Philippe Starck and Cynthia Rowley come to mind). Target has since switched to single collections from lesser known, but well-regarded names, and savvy fashion lovers still swoon.
Recently, clothing designer Zac Posen designed a line for Target, and Cynthia Vincent boasted several shoes for the discounter that otherwise sell for between $200-$300. The newest rotating collections from clothing label Tucker, jewelry designer Temple St. Clair and artist John Derrian all reinforce Target's role as an innovator in driving the cost out of creative items. Most are available only for a short time.
Target may steal much of the thunder when it comes to designer lines, but rival Walmart has a home run with its Norma Kamali line and there are plans to bring the designer's touch to a collection for plus size women. Most pieces in the Fall 2010 collection are available only online and average just $20.
Isabel Toledo is a favorite of First Lady Michelle Obama, but her line of shoes at Payless are more within reach of the general populace, priced at $55 or less. Payless also featured designs from "Project Runway" winner Christian Siriano and Lela Rose at a recent Fashion Week event in New York. Look for their collections in Spring 2011.
Kate Moss has new goods for Topshop coming Oct. 28. Jill Sander's Fall/Winter collection for Uniqlo hits Oct. 7. Lauren Conrad's new collection for Kohl's is already available, as is Vera Wang's Simply Vera line for Fall 2010. And this is just a few. Designers are a lot less than exclusive in increasing numbers -- good news for fashion lovers of all incomes.