News broke this morning that 2014 CFDA Womenswear Award nominee and budding master of sensual style Joseph Altuzarra is the latest designer to team up on a capsule with Target. He follows in the footsteps of brands like Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and, most recently, Peter Pilotto. “It just felt like the right moment,” offered Altuzarra when asked why he signed on to create the almost fifty-piece collection of ready-to-wear, lingerie, and accessories, which will hit Target stores, the retailer’s website, and Net-a-Porter on September 14. “I’m so focused on building the Altuzarra universe in the luxury market, but the opportunity to bring my world to a larger audience is really exciting,” added the designer, who secured an investment from Kering last year.
Don’t expect the forthcoming capsule to be a greatest-hits range—Altuzarra thinks that would be downright rude. “I didn’t want this collection to just feel like a rehash of things that we’ve done before. That wouldn’t be fair to the Target customer—almost like I didn’t put any effort into it. And it wouldn’t be fair to the Altuzarra customer who might want to buy something new and interesting that we’re not doing for our own line.” Inspired by a world traveler jetting off to far-flung destinations like Paris, Morocco, Tokyo, and Mongolia, the range will include hyper-tailored peplum jackets, pencil skirts, and trenchcoats, all with special details, like embroidery. “I didn’t want to assume that because we were doing a collection with Target that it suddenly had to be a much less interesting product. The collection has to stand on its own, and it is details, volume, and tailoring that make a piece feel rich and special.” The fabrics, too, will lend a luxury feel to the lineup—satin georgette, Swiss dot, slinky jersey, faux fur and leather, jacquard, velveteen, and stretch twill are used throughout.
Mass-market collaborations have done wonders for many an emerging brand, introducing the labels to an entire new demographic outside of the fashion (and shopping) elite. But still, there is always the question of whether a team-up of this kind can dilute a luxury brand. And though the collection is being produced largely in China, this is not a concern for Altuzarra. “Target contacted us because of what our brand stands for, and they were very encouraging about having us really develop a collection that was respectful of what the Altuzarra brand means,” said the designer. “Now, that doesn’t mean that we didn’t think about who the Target customer is and what she’s looking for, but it was really about bringing that customer into our world. There’s an appreciation for overall good product no matter what market you’re shopping in, and Target and I were on the same page about wanting to produce perfect, uncompromised garments.” Said uncompromised garments will all ring in at less than $100. With that in mind, we bet this collection will appeal to loyal fans and, more important, gain him some new ones.