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Target Brings Missoni's 'La Dolce Vita' to Bargain Shoppers: Early Reviews

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Target has released sneak preview photos for a new campaign, advertising its partnership with Italian brand Missoni. Missoni, known for its trademark patterns featuring jagged lines in colors like fuchsia and orange, is launching a limited line at Target starting September 15.

According to the New York Times, the brand will join Target to market “more than 400 products including clothing for men, women and children; home accessories; footwear; and even luggage.” Prices will range from about $3 to $600.

Target’s Missoni ads will feature beautiful people standing around Italian cities looking fashionable as 60s music, recalling period films like La Dolce Vita (you know, the one about the emptiness of a life based on glamor and material goods), plays softly in the background. Italy’s current economic collapse will not be mentioned.

To alleviate worries that Americans won’t know how to match Missoni’s colors and patterns Target has created a video featuring Margherita Maccapani Missoni. In a section called, “Margherita’s Must Haves,” Missoni suggests products to shoppers and then gives advice on how to incorporate them into daily wear.

Target’s Missoni campaign includes a number of weird twists. First off, rather than release the campaign’s photos in a traditional setting, they released them on a Tumblr purported to be run by a Live Doll. Second, their online videos will be clickable. If a viewer sees a product they like in the video, they can click and immediately be linked to a shopping page.

The campaign will also run in a number of print magazines including Italian Vogue, marking the first time Target has run a foreign ad. Print ads, however, will not be clickable.

According to the Times, brands like Missoni see the reach of major retailers like Target as an opportunity to develop new markets. Beyond that, they are trying to take advantage of a shift in the perception of stores like Target. The article quotes Jeffrey Buchman, professor of advertising who says, “It’s become O.K. for the ‘Vogue customer’ to shop at Target.’

Of course, while Target may be trying to draw in Vogue’s customers, Missoni clearly has its sights set on Target’s. Whether or not this is the best time to convert bargain shoppers into fashion mavens remains to be seen, but if this article is any indication, Missoni may run into some trouble.

In other news, Target plans to partner with a brand another struggling European country. Its new Chicago store will feature the British chain Pret A Manger.

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.