The Problem with the Lilly Pulitzer for Target Collaboration

Posted on January 16 2015

You may or may not have seen the news regarding Target’s latest designer collaboration launching this spring. They are collaborating with Lilly Pulitzer and they WILL offer plus sizes. This is seemingly great news, BUT apparently the plus sizes will only be offered online and not in even in a single one of their 1801 U.S. stores.

Social media was up in arms about this. Some examples of people’s tweets in response to Target tweeting about the online-only availability:

“You are welcome to the [f]ood section only. Get you’re jello and go,” quipped @FatGirl_fashion.

Tweeter @grownandcurvywo said, “It’s like Target is dating a fat girl but won’t take her out in public..that’s how I feel right now.”

Plus-size blogger Sarah Conley also shared her sentiment, tweeting, “They’re really saying we only want 40% of customers to be seen in store.”

We understand their frustration. We’re still sore about Target’s last drool-worthy collaboration with Altuzarra in which there were no plus sizes offerings. Social media had a similar reaction then, so much so that the hashtag #boycottingtarget was born (read more in our previous blog post.)

We want to remind you that Target’s first designer collaboration was with Isaac Mizrahi in 2002. There were NO plus sizes offered. Since then there have been countless collaborations with the likes of Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, and Missoni. None have included plus sizes (other than a Calypso St. Barth collection in 2011). In collaborations at other retailers like H&M, there haven’t been plus sizes offered either.

The fact that this collaboration contains plus sizes is major news! It's means progress. We hope that people will abandon the #boycottingtarget mentality and support this collection. If Target sees positive sales results they will be more likely to create plus size collaborations and carry the items in stores. These are just the facts of retailing today, they test merchandise online, then dedicate floorspace upon success.

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