Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rogan for Target for Barney's Co-Op for Pete's Sake

Riddle me this, dear readers: Why would one retailer premiere a fashion line created exclusively for another retailer at the first retailer's store? Well maybe, as in the case of Kate Moss for Topshop, said second retailer is not currently located in the country of said second retailer. Or, perhaps...um...well, that's it. I'm out of ideas.

Which is why the recent three-day premiere of Rogan Gregory's line for Target's Go International collection at Barney's Co-op is so very, very strange to me. And here's the real kicker: try to find any evidence that it ever existed at Barney's Co-op. You can't!

Oh sure, the blogosphere lit up with pics (like the one from the official Target Pressroom, at right) and chit-chat, but are there any official remnants of this odd collab? Nope.

Barney's Co-op's website has removed all traces of those li'l Target clothes. Simon Doonan's interview with Rogan Gregory? Gone. None of the links work anymore.

How about a press release? Nope, no luck there, either.

Well surely someone captured an image from the print ads or an in-store display, right? Not that I can find.

What gives?!

Certainly a high-end retailer like Barney's takes a chance when association with a mass merchandiser like Target, who - truth be told - has some of the best advertising out there. Dare I say, advertising that might rival Barney's in some ways? (Don't worry, Simon, your windows will always be the best.)

And then I figured it out.

There was this weird part of the interview with Rogan Gregory where Simon Doonan asked him (and I'm paraphrasing here) in reference to the line premiering a week early at Barney's Co-Op, "But what about the Target customers?" To which Gregory replied, "They'll just have to wait until May 18th!"

Cue needle scratching across record. What?! Oh, I see. Target shoppers don't go to Barney's! Oh, ha ha. Of course they don't! Certainly they'd want to buy the dress to the left in a fluorescent-lit big box store while simultaneously picking up toothbrushes and DVDs, not in an earth-tone, dimly lit boutique with sales associates.

Oh, how silly of me to think that maybe some people shop at both Target and Barney's Co-op. Now, I'm not blaming Target or Barney's for all of this. Certainly I love both of those retailers and I'm sure they just wanted to create buzz around this clothing line and weren't thinking of the ramifications of statements like those above.

But the types of attitudes expressed by Simon and Rogan are so typical in the retail industry and are just the kind of thing this blog is designed to address. Goodwill's mission, for example, is not to be a store that sells clothes for poor people. It's a store that sells good merchandise at great prices. For ALL people. You like Target? Great! Come shop at Goodwill. You like Barney's? Great! Come shop at Goodwill. And I would hope that well-known, beloved retailers like Target and Barney's would want people in their employ to reflect a similar attitude.

Certainly Barney's prices are cost prohibitive for many. But why wouldn't they use the Rogan for Target clothes - most of which are priced between $15 and $40 - to introduce a whole new crowd to Barney's? Just as our eBay store (which has this week's Goodwill Good Buy of the Week up now, by the way) introduces a whole new audience to the fantastic stuff we have at Goodwill, I'd think that most retailers would jump at the chance to broaden their audience.

Meh. But these are just the rambling opinions of the DCGF. Whaddya think?

Any purchase made at a Goodwill Retail Store or on shopgoodwill.com funds Goodwill's mission of training and employment programs for people with disadvantages or disabilities.

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