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There are approximately four months left until the collab to end all collabs arrives at Target and Neiman Marcus. Four short months, everybody. And since we intend to use that time wisely, we thought we'd start by kicking off the lead up to Collabapalooza's launch on December 1 with a refresher on the designers, as well as some wild speculations about who might be doing what. Join us after the jump.
To recap: the two (very different) retailers are teaming up with no less than 24 CFDA designers on a holiday collaboration capsule that will be available at both stores. What we know so far is that prices will range from $7.99 to $499.99, with most items going for less than $60, and that the goods on offer are going to be gift-focused and fall into the categories of "apparel, home décor, pet products, sporting goods, and more." Beyond that, we don't know much of anything. Here are our best guesses as to how this is all going to go down.
Stacey Bendet's Lolita-inspired Fall 2012 collection for Alice + Olivia, via Style.com
Alice + Olivia: Designer Stacey Bendet is the ultimate Alice + Olivia girl: spunky, girly, quirky, urban, playful. Think lots of black and white with pops of bold color. Though the brand has grown significantly since launching in 2002 with accessories, footwear, childrens, and jewelry lines, party dresses are still the A+O signature. We're hoping for at least one in the Target collection.
Altuzarra's 2012 capsule for J.Crew was inspired by "French prep"
Altuzarra: Hot on the heels of his
cute but boring stripey J.Crew collab, we're hoping French designer Joseph Altuzarra brings something a little more unexpected here. He had a gypsy theme going on his own F/W 2012 runway—perhaps some brocade breeches are headed our way?
Boy and Girl by Band of Outsiders Fall 2012, via Getty
Band of Outsiders: Traditionally, this brand is boyish to the point of androgynous, but designer Scott Sternberg sent lots of floor-skimming prairie skirts down the fall runway, so maybe this is the season things get girly? Probably not. We predict Band of Outsiders will be holding down the menswear side of the collab.
Two heels from Brian Atwood's Summer 2012 collection
Brian Atwood: This is one of the collaborations we're most curious about. The footwear designer is known for his luxe, sexed-up shoes, and his customers are known for being willing to drop a grand or so on a pair. It's hard to imagine what he will do in the cheap-and-chic price range—and we're guessing it's actually not footwear. Atwood recently launched his first handbag collection in a collaboration with Gilt; we bet he takes this latest partnership as an opportunity to try his hand at some more accessories.
Caroline Herrera Fall 2012, via Getty
Carolina Herrera: The Venezuelan designer is known for classy, uptown gowns and elegant dress-up clothes that'll cost you. She's also known for doing a ton of diffusion lines: fragrance, menswear, handbags, and shoes included. Sadly, we're predicting this to be one of the disapointments of the bunch with products rounding out the home décor and/or pet products categories.
Derek Lam's Richard Neutra-inspired Spring 2012 collection, via Getty
Derek Lam: This LA native is known for mixing girly fabrics and modern silhouettes that could translate perfectly into a high-low collab. We're hoping for a holiday frock or two.
DVF brought the adorable for her Spring 2012 Gap Kids collab
Diane von Furstenberg: A major label that is no stranger to the collaboration game, DVF has already proven that her look translates well at a lower price point. Her cheerful aesthetic and perky prints are perfect for cool gift items; we hope she brings the chic, like she did for her Gap capsule, and doesn't cop out with holiday tchotchkes.
Eddie Borgo for J.Crew
Eddie Borgo: This New York-based designer brings a polished punk to his jewelry. Borgo's 2010 capsule for J.Crew (above) was in keeping with his signature streetwear aesthetic, and we predict he'll bring more of the same to Target. And we mean that in a very good way.
Jason Wu Fall 2012 collection, via Getty
Jason Wu: As the most recent Target alum (you remember), we are extremely curious to see what Wu brings to the table this time around. When presenting his A/W 2012 collection, the designer told WWD that his fast-fashion capsule gave him "a new respect for what he considers true luxury," and he went all fur and leather for his runway show. On the other hand, he also just announced a contemporary line that will be debuting at Nordstrom in early 2013, not long after the Target-Neiman brew-ha-ha drops. So, the question is: as he ventures back into the land of cheap-and-chic, will he return to the chipper colors and girlish silhouettes of his last collection? Or will Wu be the one maxing out the $500 price range? We predict the latter.
The Judith Leiber cupcake minaudieres, made famous by one Carrie Bradshaw
Judith Leiber: This one's gonna be fun. While the company has plenty of museum-quality purses in its archive, it has also proven it can go populist, with a FEED collaboration evening clutch and a Hello Kitty collection (though, to be fair, that one was still in the several grand range). Point is, we're hoping Judith Leiber is going to come up with an amazing minaudiere for the masses.
Lela Rose for Target
Lela Rose: Best known for her whimsical, girly pieces, Lela Rose loves herself some color and print. She's also no stranger to the high-low, having collaborated in the past with Payless on a line of spunky shoes. She recently started dabbling in accessories and home decor, and our prediction is that she'll be bringing home goods—in all their bright, printed, Lela Rose glory—to the table come December 1.
Marchesa: "We always had this dream Marchesa could transcend into all different areas of lifestyle.” That's what designer Georgina Champman told WWD back in May when she confirmed the launch of the label's first diffusion line, and we're going to go ahead and read into that. Marchesa is best known for their red-carpet fare, but we bet they're not going to be making any watered-down $200 party dresses for Target. We think they're going to go lifestyle. Home décor? Pet products? Sporting goods? Time will tell. (Please let it be sporting goods.)
Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2012 collections, via Getty
Marc Jacobs: Marc Jacobs is, well, you know who he is. One of the most directional designers in American Fashion, he's also one of the most commercial. We hope he blows our mind with an amazing one-of-a-kind accessory or three, but we suspect he's going to go the "pet product" route. Womp.
This is about as accessible as Oscar gets
Oscar de la Renta: Oscar has tried. He really has. But the closest we've ever seen him come to "accessible" were those furry $700 Beats by Dre headphones and this $2490 baseball jersey. We have no idea what he's going to do here. A scarf? Perfume? Probably. Yeah, perfume.
Giles + Brothers Summer 2012 collection
Philip Crangi: The mind (and hands) behind both the Philip Crangi and Giles + Brother lines, Crangi is a man who knows his way around jewelry. He has said of his pieces that they have the feel and spirit of pirate treasure, which is part of the reason they appeal to both men and women. And since he's as versed in affordable leather and steel as he is in luxury materials like gold and silver, we expect something pretty amazing (and unisex?) for this collection.
Prabal Gurung's Spring 2012 collection T-shirt, via Instagram
Prabal Gurung: This one could go either way. Though it's true that Gurung has a J.Crew collab under his belt, the capsule was less wearable than it was cool (you all remember the gigantic bows involved, yes?). He's one of those designers who seems to feel most at home in rarefied fashion—though he did just create his very first T-shirt, so maybe he's embracing his laid-back side these days. Let's hope so. We could get down with some more of those spotty tees.
Proenza Schouler's Eastern-inspired Fall 2012 runway collection, via Getty
Proenza Schouler: Another Target alum, Proenza Schouler has come a long, looong way since their first collab with the fast-fashion chain in 2007. Beyond their famous technical skills, the brand's signature has always been custom fabrics and a spirited, youthful vibe—both of which can translate nicely into a high-low collab (see: Marni for H&M). As far as this collection goes, we hope to see something a little different from Jack and Lazaro. Some chic accessories would be nice. Jewelry, perhaps?
rag & bone Fall 2012 menswear collection, via Getty
rag & bone: Here's a brand that has been going full-tilt towards accessories recently: There are those boots every off-duty model on the planet seems to be wearing; a couple limited-edition techy-carrier-things; and as of this fall, their first line of handbags. But while it's tempting to think that a holiday collab like this would be another chance to go the accessories route, something tells us the brand is going stay on the masculine side of the fence. Maybe they'll head into some unchartered territory? Don't tell us a set of rag & bone golf clubs wouldn't make a great gift.
Robert Rodriguez Summer 2012
Robert Rodriguez: Despite the fact that his label has been around since 2003, Robert Rodriguez is probably the least-well-known designer on this list. The designer made his name in contemporary womenswear with a modern, sophisticated aesthetic and an emphasis on dresses, before branching out into occasion and a younger line. This collab is an opportunity to broaden the reach of his brand, and for that reason, we think he'll be sticking with what he knows best: chic dresses.
'Member this? This is what happened first time around
Rodarte: Another Target alum, we're curious to see what Rodarte does here. Their collab history (Target in 2009, Opening Ceremony in 2011) proves they know how to make (relatively) affordable clothing, but even their diffusion capsules haven't done much to debunk the brand's esoteric reputation (the Opening Ceremony collection was beautiful, but not particularly wearable, and most of it ended up on major clearance sale). This is one brand that might really benefit from placement at Neiman Marcus, where "wearable" is less of a requirement than it is at Target.
This image pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Skaist-Taylor
Skaist-Taylor: The new(ish) label by Juicy Couture founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor (that's them above) stays true to their California-girl roots with plenty of drapey T-shirts and knits, boho dresses, and extra-mini hemlines. In the most recent collection, there is also a shit ton of fur. We predict they're gonna go glam for this collab, and it's going to be fabulous.
Two looks from Thom Browne's menswear Fall 2012 menswear show, via ThomBrowne.com
Thom Browne: This year's National Design Award winner, Thom Browne has taken prep to such wildly exaggerated extremes that it's crossed over into the realm of the conceptual. Though he launched womenswear in 2010, he's still best known as a menswear designer and we predict that is where he will stay for this collab. Bring on the giant whales and cropped pants. (Don't bring on the weird masks.)
Tory Burch: Tory Burch might rule the tunic, but we're not getting our hopes up for one of those in this collection. Burch actually has a lot to lose by re-creating her signature preppy pieces at a fast-fashion pricepoint (why pay $300 for a simple tunic when you can pay $30?), but she has a great jewelry line and it would be fun to see some of her cheerful, chunky pieces reinterpreted for this collection.
Here's what Tracy Reese did for Anthro this spring
Tracy Reese: Tracy Reese's bright, energetic party dresses are perfect for a holiday collab. And having just wrapped up a partnership with Anthropologie, she's no stranger to a mass market pricepoint. We're hoping she comes to the table with a New Year's Eve dress or two.
Got any predictions of your own? Let us hear 'em in the comments.