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Deep Thoughts: Pondering the Why Behind All This New Missoni Crap

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You know Frank—he's been writing about menswear, sales, television, new shops, the recession, Lisa Loeb, the Golden Girls and getting blasted for Racked for almost two years. Well, we think it's time you got to know him and his quirky-irreverent views on life and fashion even better with his column: Love, Frank. Taking the form of an open letter and always signed with love, Frank will rant about whatever style-related conundrum he encounters in a given week. So buckle your two-toned leather Moschino belts, folks, it's going to be ? Something.

Dear Missoni,

What gives? For years you and your weird old lady wovens sat quietly (well, as quietly as zigzag-printed, candy-colored caftans can, anyway) in the background—there waiting for brand-fans but not all up in the faces of those who don't much care.

Now you're all up in our pieces with collaboration after collaboration. And, apparently, it was all leading up to the co-branded collab de résistance: A Target collection.

We thought it was pretty strange back in September when Rihanna filmed a video in (A) a really ugly outfit (her handlers usually slip her into things that we wholeheartedly approve of even if she probably couldn't care less) and (B) that parts of said outfit were by Missoni. We're guessing we weren't dealing with a Missoni-smitten stylist here—especially considering the shoes were by Aldo and an Aldo-smitten stylist is even more unlikely than a Missoni-smitten one. Rather, we're envisioning lots and lots someone's PR dollars hard at work.

Then, come fall, there were those ridiculous, almost-$500 scarf watches from Toywatch. After that, the floodgates seriously opened: Havaianas flip-flops and Bugaboo strollers are forthcoming; Missoni-encrusted Converse All Star sneakers quietly (those PR dollars are working less hard on this project, apparently) showed up in shops like Jeffrey for spring; and come fall we'll be bombarded with zigzag-covered plastic and polyester in the form of a 400-piece mega-collaboration with Target.

Oh, bygones: The strollers are really exclusively about the kiddies—not status symbols for indulged society moms and their hapless nannies who are really the only people that will ever actually push said strollers. Says Angela Missoni herself: "Children are so sensitive to colors and patterns. Working with Bugaboo has given me a unique opportunity to create a dream stroller that I hope will be enjoyed by children and will stimulate their senses." So, that's totally a no brainer—the strollers are educational. File under SAT prep.

So, what's the deal? We did some not very in-depth research and can't find a press release touting any sort of relaunch or some WWD blurb about buzz-building or reaching out to the younger, the hipper, the poorer. We did, however, come across a series of Missoni-printed bottles for San Pellegrino. Thirty million of those happened last summer—with fabric-wrapped specials hitting the desks of VIPs and the basic bottles being served at "the best restaurants worldwide" (no wonder we didn't see a single one).

Next up: Missoni fruit snacks and toilet seat covers.

As you may have guessed, we're not much for Missoni—despite our usual penchant for the bright, the loud, the patterned and the textured. But, we imagine a lot of people out there probably are—so enjoy those Missoni-esque plastic tumblers and medium-thread count pillow cases and plastic flip-flops that we suppose are better than the ones you can get at your local Dollar Tree store. Personally, we just want to know the what, the why and the how long.

Obviously, we'll be keeping you so abreast of each of these little projects (especially Target, obviously) that in a few months you'll be as sick of those zigs and zags as we've always been. Viva Missoni!


· Love, Frank [Racked]