It’s not often that a limited-edition holiday collection is the biggest fashion story of the day in mid-July, but that is the case today as mass retail giant Target announced its unexpected partnership with luxury department store Neiman Marcus. Oh, and few CFDA fashion designers — 24, to be exact. The 50-piece collection is ambitious, including clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry and other accessories, ranging in price from $7.99 to $499.99. Also ambitious is the scale of the merchandising: the entire collection will be available, starting December 1st, at every Target and Neiman Marcus store, as well as on both retailers’ websites.


Among the 24 designers (a full list is shown below), there are veterans like Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, and Marc Jacobs, as well as newer names on the scene like Band of Outsiders and Prabal Gurung. The styles represented will be similarly diverse, with everything from Jason Wu and Carolina Herrera’s ultra-feminine aesthetic to the edgier looks of jewelry designer Eddie Borgo and sister-designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, who front avant grade RTW label Rodarte. There will be casual weekend influences from Tory Burch, balanced out by red carpet-wear from four-figure clutch designer Judith Leiber and intricate gown-maker Marchesa. There is a hi-lo price-point mix as well, with mid-range Alice + Olivia and Robert Rodriguez sharing company with pricey Proenza Schouler and Derek Lam. Men aren’t forgotten, either–Rag & Bone and Thom Browne’s inclusion assures that.

With the majority of the 50 items coming in below $60, Target’s involvement in the venture makes clear sense. Its diffusion lines over the years have set the demand standard for designer looks at accessible prices. For Neiman Marcus, home of one of the most exorbitant Christmas catalogs on the market, the motivations are less obvious. With strong revenue gains the past few quarters, however, the Texas-based retailer may feel that there is no time like the present to take a risk. First, China. Now, the American masses. Target’s executive vice president of merchandising Kathee Tesija has a simpler explanation: “We both love design.”


Target benefitted quickly from the announcement, with its stock hitting an 18-month high earlier today. A very promising sign for both retailers, given that the collection won’t hit store shelves for another four months.


(Images via Target)


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