lsaac Mizrahi is ditching Target after five years to revamp Liz Claiborne. The fashion world’s boy-wonder brought cache to Target with his take on the old classics: orange and pink resort wear, seersucker pants and blazers, cheerful oxford shirts.
Stepping in to fill his sizable loafers is New York designer Rogan Gregory. His limited-edition collection of eco-wear, constructed of 100% organic cotton and other environmentally-sensitive materials, hits the store May 18th. The designer says his separates will show women that "beautifully designed, affordable, alluring clothing can also be environmentally friendly."
While nobody is questioning the eco-commitment, reaction has been mostly negative following a preview of the safari-inspired line. Consumers posting comments have used terms such as "too tom-boyish, universally unflattering, gap-ish, and disappointing."
I personally find that with the exception of his Giraffe Print Shift Dress ($40) and black Crochet Tunic ($35), the pieces resemble the best of what I might pull at a thrift shop for a ’70s party. In fact, I actually did pull vintage accessories for such a party last week and they were fresher than Gregory’s hot pants and mesh tanks.
But to be fair, even Mizrahi struck out at times with matronly pants and bedding prints only suitable for covering summer camp cots. Let’s give Gregory the benefit of the doubt, since he’s moving in the right direction: sustainability.
It’s all part of Target’s GO International program providing affordable fashion created by world-renowned designers. Gregory has emerged as a big name after winning the prestigious CDFA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award last year, running Loomstate, and collaborating with the singer Bono and his wife to launch EDUN, which fosters sustainable employment in developing areas of the world, including Africa, India and Peru.
Image: Matt Callow