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Missoni For Target Bonanza Creates Secondary Market

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Target launched its limited collaboration with Italian fashion brand Missoni Tuesday and almost immediately ran into trouble.

According to CBS News, Target’s website crashed multiple times over the course of the day, ultimately leading the big box retailor to issue an apology to consumers. The Missoni line was originally intended to run for six weeks, but a number of items have already sold out.

Not to worry if you're a Missoni fan, however. The rules of market forces have taken over.

Through-the-roof demand for the popular brand’s discount run has led to a thriving secondary market on eBay. For example, a pair of Missoni ballet flats from the Target collection sold for $29.99 at the store and now go for $80-$130 online. A special edition Missoni designed bicycle, originally $400, now goes for between $600 and $1,200 online. Of course, these prices are still substantially cheaper than Missoni’s original line.

About a month ago, Target launched its first round of preview pictures for the Missoni line. In a weird twist, they chose to release these photos on a Tumblr run by a doll named Marina. She is currently very happy.

The retailer’s innovative ad campaign also included a separate website for the Missoni brand and a series of videos showcasing the products. The videos feature an attractive and fashionable woman acting in various short scenes. After about 10 seconds, the scene pauses and customers are given the option of clicking on featured Missoni products for more info.

Originally, the elaborate Missoni website was designed to ensure that American consumers would feel comfortable with the brand’s eclectic style. To that end, the website includes style tips from Margherita Maccapani Missoni. Of course, consumer comfort with the brand doesn’t seem to have been an issue.

Target and Missoni joins other successful recent partnerships like Jay Z and Kanye West. On a more apples-to-apples note, Karl Lagerfeld’s new discount collection for Macy’s hit stores at the end of August. So far, it has not seen quite the same success as Missoni but reception has been good.

Lagerfeld’s collection is smaller and less expensive than Missoni’s. It's also not the first time that the famous designer has worked with discount retailers.

The success of Missoni shows that consumers still want couture, they just don’t want to pay full price for it.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.