Red Carpet Fashion for the Masses

Mar 13, 2003

By George Anderson

Discount stores rule. It was a difficult lesson to learn, but name brand designers of chic apparel have gotten it.

The Associated Press reports, “A growing number of high-end designers are heading to mass-market chains in search of big financial gains. While some are abandoning their upscale accounts, others like Cynthia Rowley, Isaac Mizrahi and maternity designer Liz Lange hope to achieve success in both tiers.”

Target has been a leader in bringing fashion designed for the beautiful people to the masses. The chain has achieved success with apparel and home accessories from designers such as Mossimo Giannulli, Liz Lange Philippe Starck and Todd Oldham.

Moderator’s Comment: Others are emulating Target, signing
exclusive deals with high-end designers. Is this a sound sales strategy?

Target’s department store heritage gives it an edge over
others attempting a me-too but only better strategy. Target has succeeded by
making the designer brands its own (essentially seen as upscale private label

Conversely, Martha Stewart eclipsed Kmart a long time
ago. Ms. Stewart’s line of products isn’t seen as being reflective of the overall
quality of goods sold in Kmart. Consumers see it as the bright exception to
the mediocre rule. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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