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Target's New Design Collaboration Thinks Local, Ships National

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Target has done a pretty incredible job transforming their image from your mom's go-to suburban box-store to a major fashion destination over the past few years, due in large part to their outrageously successful high-low designer collabs. (There was that thing with Missoni, currently a little something with Jason Wu... you remember.) In a twist on their proven formula, they've just announced a new partnership series that brings local boutique owners, rather than internationally recognized fashion brands, into the mix.

We attended the presentation in New York this afternoon and got to meet the owners of five boutiques from around the country—a dog treat bakery in Boston; a posh candy store in San Francisco; a vintage homewares store in Connecticut; a beauty store in Aspen; and a clothing boutique in Miami—who have collaborated with the gargantuan chain. Each has designed limited-edition collections that will be sold in Target stores and on Target.com beginning in May. There will be more than 400 items in total, ranging in price from $1 to $160. Flip through the gallery above to see the dog biscuits, candy boxes, plates, bath soaps, and apparel that are coming your way.

Though this new batch of collaborators isn't likely to bring down the website or generally cause the mass chaos Target's other partnerships have, it does align the brand with mom-and-pop stores (even though these particular moms and pops seem to skew more yuppie than blue-collar). The company seems to be courting a reputation as a supporter of small business, unlike some of its big-box rivals.

It'll be interesting to see if going local can be as successful for Target as going high-end has been. Either way, we're looking forward to a collab launch that doesn't result in pandemonium.
· Target [Official site]