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On Target: Missoni Mayhem

September 16, 2011 - Phyllis Sigal
Have you heard about the Missoni mayhem?

Apparently two young women who bolted into Target at The Highlands Thursday have.

Missoni, an Italian design house, is known for its colorful zig-zag patterned pieces — clothing and accessories for men, women, little girls and babies, luggage, as well as items for the home. (I spotted a great Missoni dress for $1,045 online at Saks.)

Missoni dresses, sweaters, skirts and jackets sell upwards of $500.

Until Tuesday— when Missoni for Target debuted, with prices starting at just $2.95, with the most expensive item, lawn furniture at $599. Online, there even is a Missoni bike.

Tuesday's Missoni frenzy crashed Target's website, most items online are sold out and the stores were slammed, with shoppers clearing out the shelves in just a few hours at many stores. Lines formed at some Target stores hours before the doors opened. Some likened the melee to Black Friday. Crazy, crazy shoppers.

Target at The Highlands had a nice selection of items — bedding, luggage, clothes, hair accessories, stationary items, cosmetic bags, ballet flats and pumps, "Wellington-inspired" rubber boots, mugs, plates, men's ties, bras and pajamas. Few remain on the shelves now, although, you can still pick up some things.

Michelle Windows, executive team leader at Target at The Highlands, hopes for a "moderate replenishment" of items this week, however, that is "based on sell-through at the stores." Because some stores sold out in just hours, those stores may get more merchandise, much sooner.

The luggage was wiped out early, she said, and one woman had a cart full of Missoni mugs. People came "very early in the morning," waiting for the doors to open, she said.

The store in Portland, Ore., sold out of its collection of Missoni by 8 a.m., said Sarah Ashton. She was the 20-something who ran into the store with a friend Thursday afternoon, excited to see the remaining items. A bit later, Sarah's arms were full, and she started putting a few things back on the shelves.

Ashton, who grew up in Wheeling and is home to attend the wedding of a friend, picked a good time to be in Wheeling! In Portland, people lined up over night, and cleaned out the store before Ashton had a chance to shop.

"I've always loved Missoni. It's an iconic brand to me."

Her friend, Sarah Moses, noted, "It stands out. You can say 'that's Missoni.'"

Ashton had purchased a tie, a cosmetic bag, a blanket (which will make a great scarf!), a pair of shoes, a toddler's dress and a journal — some items for gifts, some for herself. She admitted that she doesn't usually shop at Target, but it was the Missoni that brought her in.

Moses thinks it's cool that high-end labels are making their items affordable and accessible.

Big designer names for discount stores are nothing new. Kohl's has Vera Wang, Dana Buchman and Jennifer Lopez. Target has a history of designer collections.

According to reports, Karl Lagerfeld, Jimmy Choo, Stella McCartney and Lanvin, have joined forces with H&M, a store my daughter Amanda came upon during a high school theater trip to New York. H&M was located on Fifth Avenue, hobnobbing with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Prada, Armani, Kenneth Cole, Hugo Boss, Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, Bottega Veneta ...

H&M was heaven-sent to the high school girls with a few bucks in their pockets. Of course, none of the designer stores had anything in those girls' budget. But, from H&M, she came home with two beautiful cocktail dresses, for which she paid about $7 each. The closest H&M to the Ohio Valley is located at the Southside Works in Pittsburgh.

Surely our economy has led to the outbreak of designers designing for us common folk. For years, I've been a fan of TJ Maxx, Loehmann's, Filene's Basement, outlet centers, etc. I love a good bargain, that's for sure. I really can't remember the last time I paid full price for something. (I almost paid full price for a dress for my daughter's wedding last year, but then, lo and behold, my best friend saw that it was 60 percent off on the Nordstrom website! I rushed to order my size, and took the full-priced item back!)

Between sales, coupons and those percent-off offers, you rarely even have the opportunity to pay the original ticket.

But, hey, if you really want the Missoni for Target, there are plenty on eBay. Of course, the catch is, they're not at Target prices any more.


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Blog Photos

Sarah Ashton, left, and Sarah Moses, shop for Missoni items at Target at The Highlands.