La Dolce Vita, Domani

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The Missoni brand housewares endcap, Palisades Mall Target store, 10:59 am Tuesday

I got to my local Target store at the Palisades Mall in Nyack, NY, just before 11:00 a.m. yesterday morning to check out the limited-time Missoni collection on opening day. I was three hours too late. Every shelf and rack of Missoni merchandise was empty. Well, there were two sweaters in the children’s section and a couple of pairs of size ten women’s shoes. Not one zig-zag striped knit dress, sweater, scarf, cosmetic case, swimsuit, dinner plate, napkin, place mat, or sheet set was left.

In 2005 I covered Target’s “Design for All” campaign for Communication Arts magazine, reporting that the company’s mission was “to bring great design to everyone, every day,” according to then VP and creative director Minda Gralnek. And that encompassed product design, packaging design and advertising design. Among Target’s notable ad campaigns were the “high-low” spots that paired “things people need” (detergent, toothpaste) with “things they want to have” (designer jeans).

Scarf in the Missoni at Target collection

The partnership of Target with Missoni, the Italian fashion brand whose knitwear is usually about five times my usual price point, struck me as the ultimate in low and high. “With more than 400 colorful pieces to choose from, our guests can experience a taste of ‘la dolce vita’ simply by shopping at Target,” Kathee Tesija, Target’s executive vice president of merchandising was quoted in a press release. Judging by what was on the shelves, my own desire to own a bit of la dolce vita will have to wait until domani (tomorrow).

A shopper who arrived as the store opened was thrilled by the carry-on bags. "Fashion plus function," she said.

It fits! A recent college graduate in her child's size large sweater.

The Nyack store was the second stop for a shopper from Manhattan who managed to pick up a couple of pairs of Missoni child’s gloves. “I got to the Harlem store at 8:30 and everything was completely gone so I raced up here,” she reported. Nyack mom and fashion blogger Melissa Fedor was luckier. She arrived before the opening and had a cart full of luggage, home accessories and scarves. “Gifts for everyone.” Alison Barbiero of Old Tappan, NJ, a recent college graduate, was happily able to able to fit her size 2 body into a child’s size large cardigan, one of the last two Missoni pieces in the store.

“Working with Target to create a mass collection that reflects the spirit of Missoni has been extremely energizing,” said Angela Missoni. “Each piece is special to me because so much thought and care went into every aspect of the design. I can’t wait to introduce the collection to Target’s guests across the United States.”

When I checked out with a bottle of shampoo, 2 boxes of tic-tacs, and an iPad 2 for my son’s birthday present (oh yeah, there was another reason to visit the store), the young woman at the cash register advised, “Come back tomorrow. A new shipment is coming in.” If all goes well, the collection be available through Oct. 22, priced from $2.99 to $599.99, with most items less than $40.

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