While most Americans were mainly concerned with Super Bowl parties on Sunday, a horde of devoted shoppers rose before dawn in an effort to score dresses, bags, and more from Jason Wu's much-hyped collection for Target.
While the chain was careful to avoid a repeat of its Missoni debacle -- in which the site crashed and many shoppers didn't even get the goods they'd ordered -- Target also decided to put the Wu wares up on the site at an undisclosed time that ended up being around midnight on Sunday, according to Racked, at which point things started selling out, and quickly. By the time we were up and on our way to a brick-and-mortar store before 6 a.m., the vast majority of the collection was sold out, excepting the very large sizes.
At the Atlantic Terminal Target in Brooklyn, folks started lining up well before 7 a.m., and as a result, there was an absolute crush of shoppers descending on the collection once the doors opened at 8 a.m. (pictured above). The quickest sell-outs were the white dress with the black lace trim, the navy striped dress with a cinched waist, the orange and pink striped dress with a black collar, and, of course, the bags -- of which there were only eight in the entire store. Scarves were missing from the collection, a fact that seems to be the case throughout several of the other locations. (In Queens, for example, where a Racked reporter noted a more tame scene, scarves were extremely difficult to find.)
Sizing was a bit all over the place, making the smaller sizes especially popular among customers. By 8:15 a.m. at Atlantic Terminal, there were more than 40 people carrying armloads of Wu goods waiting in line for the fitting rooms, and the racks were mostly decimated, excepting very large sizes in dresses and certain tops. Despite the scarcity, we were again impressed by the overall quality of the collection; Wu did a very good job taking advantage of the right fabrics in most cases, so that the dresses didn't look as cheap as some of the collaborations we've seen in the past.
Overall, however, we continue to be befuddled by the seeming disconnect between the powerful Target marketing machine and the in-store execution of these broad-sweeping collaborations. While the addition of the "find in a store" feature online is quite helpful in discerning whether or not a specific Target location will have a specific item is extremely helpful, the feature isn't unveiled until the collection is available online, meaning that most shoppers didn't have much time to check through everything before heading out into the pre-dawn cold to get in line. (And imagine the disappointment of checking online at 5 a.m., only to discover that the only Target near you isn't even stocking the dress you were looking for.) What's more, most Target store managers don't seem to be fully briefed on the details of the collection; They take what comes off the trucks, put it on the racks, and don't know much more beyond that, making questions like "will this style be re-stocked" or "do other locations have more than eight bags" rather fruitless questions. Maybe we're expecting too much, but after years of cycling through dozens of iterations of the powerful hype machine that surrounds these celebrity collaborations -- at Target as well as H&M and beyond -- one has to believe there can be a more organized way of getting one's hands on the goods through Target, instead of waiting until Monday for all the goods to cycle onto eBay.