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Target's Collab History: A Timeline

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After nearly a decade of successful high-low collabs, Target changes gears with The Shops at Target in 2012
After nearly a decade of successful high-low collabs, Target changes gears with The Shops at Target in 2012

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Target turns 50 this year, and today's WWD devotes a good chunk of real estate to profiling the discount retailer. Included among the many articles is an interesting timeline of the company's history. Remember way back when Target collaboration launches were under the radar? Here's a refresher on how they got started and when they turned into the hysteria-inducing phenomenon they are today:

2003: Isaac Mizrahi, who at the time was selling his high-end collection at Bergdorf Goodman, inks a deal with Target for a capsule collection, and the now ubiquitous high-low collaboration was born.

2006: Target launches their Go International program with Luella Bartley. The limited-edition collection, which is priced higher than Target’s typical range, has a 90-day run.

2006: French boutique Paul & Joe is up next for Go International.

2007: Skate-snowboarding star Shaun White and his brother, Jesse White, create a limited-edition apparel line for Target.

2007: Patrick Robinson, who also joined Gap as creative director this year, is tapped for Go International.

2009: A major Go International coup: Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy do a holiday collection.

2009: In a departure from Go International, Alexander McQueen becomes the first participant in the company's new Designer Collaborations program. Anna Sui and Jean Paul Gaultier follow.

2010: In a partnership with Liberty of London, a limited-edition Target collection for the first time spans categories from home and garden to apparel for men, women and kids.

2011: Proenza Schouler takes on Go International and the fashion set freaks out. This is also the year that Target launches a super-collection of 34 dresses from 17 of its Go International designers. They call the capsule Designer Collective, and it's available for only one month. However, after five years, the $100 million-plus Go International program is ultimately discontinued.

Instead, Target goes whole-hog with their Designer Collaboration initiative, and their September partnership with Missoni—which draws “online traffic that outpaced any Black Friday or Cyber Monday in our history,” a Target rep told WWD—redefines the words "fashion frenzy." The collection features 400 products from across the store, and most stores sell out in a few days, while Target’s Web site crashes under the overwhelming demand. (You remember.)

2012: After a successful spring collaboration with Jason Wu, Target takes a step back from the high-low collab concept, unveiling The Shops at Target, a partnership with five mom-and-pop boutiques across the country.

· Timeline: A Moving Target [WWD]
· The Shops at Target Launched Very Quietly Yesterday [Racked]
· All collaboration coverage [Racked]