by Jennie MATTHEW
Agence France Presse
NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — The Victoria Beckham clothing range for Target is flying off the shelves, the latest high-fashion, high-street collaboration seeking to widen market appeal — even if not everyone is impressed.
From Missoni for Target to Versace for H&M and Kate Moss for Topshop, designers on both sides of the Atlantic have for years promoted limited-edition collections at affordable prices as an effective marketing strategy to widen brand recognition and win over new customers.
The hook-ups are beloved by style-savvy, fashion-forward shoppers whose expensive tastes are not always matched by fat wallets capable of dropping four if not five figures on a designer outfit.
“I normally don’t go overboard but this line is AAHHHMAZING! Hope u got everything u wanted!” tweeted one New York self-confessed style blogger on Monday.
VB x Target marks the British designer’s first foray into the budget market, ditching the British high street to collaborate with mass US retailer Target on a women, girls and baby collection.
It also marks Beckham’s first foray into children’s wear, inspired by her five-year-old daughter, the ever fashionable and oft-photographed Harper.
“I am overwhelmed by your response,” tweeted the 42-year-old mother of four and wife of England football legend David on launch-day Sunday.
“Thank you for your patience and sorry for any frustration!”
Beckham spent weeks promoting the line, donning the clothes and dressing celebrity friends, models and actresses in the outfits. By Tuesday, many of the items on her website were out of stock.
Fans have salivated over the affordable prices — $6 to $70 with most pieces under $40 — in stark contrast to the four-figure dresses and three-figure tank tops from her ready-to-wear collection.
And if the former pop singer herself is rail thin, known for eating little more than fish and fruit, then the collaboration has gone out of its way to cater for women from extra small to a US plus size 3X.
Many online reviews have been positive from fans of a designer respected for making flattering clothes that have won over a fashion industry initially ill-disposed towards her post Spice Girls career.
Items are now being resold for profit on eBay.
But in the Tribeca branch of Target in Manhattan, a neighborhood where many women can afford the real thing, there were some more discerning customers browsing the racks at lunch time.
“I am a big fan of Victoria Beckham. Just not this,” said Crystal, who works in fashion and as a result did not want to give her last name.
She called the clothes matronly and criticized the fabrics, saying one loud floral dress in particular looked cheap. She loves high fashion collaborations in general, but said “the crossover didn’t translate.”
“I don’t love everything which is a little disappointing,” said her friend and fashion colleague Madeleine, 29, despite finding at least one dress that she wanted to buy to try on at home.
There were lace bomber jackets, black dresses and shirts with floral prints and bright bubblegum colors, as well as functional dresses with cute Peter Pan collars, all hitting stores as New York reveled in the onset of spring.
“They’re good for work,” said Nathalie Mancebo, a 23-year-old IT manager and Beckham fan eagerly browsing the racks with her mom. “They’re like not expensive at all, so I like that a lot,” she added.
“I know she’s somebody’s husband,” laughed secretary Jennifer Curtis, new to Brand Beckham and picking out a frock and romper suit for her six-year-old.
“We’ll see when we get home. She’s very picky,” she said. “They’re nice and soft, the only thing I don’t know about this lining.”
“I do love that orange shade that she used,” agreed Tribeca resident and first time Target buyer Gemma O’Brien, who has some Beckham originals and was happy to splurge on two skirts and two tops.
“It’s definitely an accessible price point,” she said. “I do like her.”
© Agence France-Presse