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From Zac Posen to Lilly Pulitzer, Target's new designer collaboration is a big steal

Zac Posen for Target women's safety-pin print cap-sleeve

Zac Posen for Target women's safety-pin print cap-sleeve V-neck maxi dress in magenta, $60, available beginning Sept. 14. Credit: Courtesy of Target

She should have known better. That’s what Farmingdale resident Alexandra Karcev thinks now, looking back to 2011 when Target launched a designer collaboration with the exclusive Italian knitwear brand Missoni. Karcev, a busy communications executive, figured she’d just pop into Target in Westbury and check it out.

“When I got there it was … insanity,” she recalls. “People were grabbing things out of each other’s carts.”

Had these people never seen a zigzag print?

Across the country, reports came that mobs descended on Target stores — the 400-product collection sold out at most locations within days, frenzied online shoppers crashed Target’s website.

Karcev wound up leaving the store empty-handed. But now she and countless other fans are getting another shot.

Target is celebrating two decades of what it does best — making high-end design accessible to all — with its new 20th Anniversary Collection, featuring select pieces from 20 past collaborations, including those of Isaac Mizrahi, Zac Posen, Jason Wu, Lilly Pulitzer, Hunter and, yes — breathe — Missoni. This collection of collections, with nearly 300 items (from apparel to home goods and kitchenware), priced $7 to $160, will launch at all Target stores and online on September 14.

And this time, Karcev is ready. When Jason Wu’s line for Target dropped in 2012, she learned the advantage of shopping online at midnight, when select pieces first launch. “I got a dress and cute straw bag I pull out every summer,” she says.

Then came Victoria Beckham 2017 collab, which she shopped online and in store. “I was obsessed,” she says, chuckling.

She also enjoys the sense of community these collaborations — which have been emulated by other affordable chains like H & M — generate, whether she’s tweeting to fellow Target fans online, or chatting up shoppers in-store, which she’d never do ordinarily. “I’d find myself saying, ‘Oh, you want this tee? I already bought something similar, so here, you can have it,’” Karcev recalls.

The chance to buy into an exclusive designer brand at a modest price point is another factor driving enthusiasm for such high-low partnerships.

Susan Candia, of Dix Hills, scored sleek workwear staples — a gay plaid tweed dress; black and hot pink sheaths — from the Isaac Mizrahi line. “They looked just as good as the clothes I’d spend a fortune on,” says Candia, a mother of two who teaches English at SUNY Farmingdale. “I got a million compliments,” she says. “I’d never tell people the clothes were from Target — but they were.”

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