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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

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Phillip Lim becomes latest upscale designer to partner with Target
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Author: Emily Shaw

The month of September practically screams back-to-school fashion, and this year Phillip Lim is prepared to answer the call.

The news of Lim’s new, low-priced collection for mass retailer Target has, of course, garnered more than a little reactionary excitement. One article wittily referred to the enthusiastic anticipation as “Limsanity,” a reference to Jeremy Lin’s astronomic rise to basketball stardom in 2011 as part of the starting lineup for the New York Knicks. The comparison is apt — just think of Lim as the Lin of the fashion world.

As the cofounder and creative director of high fashion label 3.1 Philip Lim, Lim is well versed in designing beautiful pieces that appeal to real women; Michelle Obama and several A-list celebrities wear the brand regularly.

But while his 3.1 line may appeal to real women, they aren’t necessarily able to afford his clothes. With his jackets easily running around $2,000 a pop — not to mention a $275 tank top and a $595 sweatshirt — 3.1 Phillip Lim is, for most folks, relegated to window shopping and daydreams.

Enter his affordable Target line. The collection is tailored to a working, “on-the-go” type of person and is reportedly separated into three sections corresponding to three times of the day and their respective appropriate clothing: morning, noon and night.

His designing motto for the Target collection was, in essence, to create staple, everyday pieces that were still beautiful and elegant. In other words, to construct pieces any 9-to-5’er could wear on the job—and after hours—that were simultaneously clothes they would want to wear.

The 100-piece collection contains looks for both men and women including work wear, but also weekend clothes, cocktail dresses and accessories. Lim even designed a grab-and go pack of underclothes: Fun lingerie for women and matching socks, underwear and undershirts for the guys. Although they’re pretty basic, Lim has said these packs were amongst his favorites out of the collection. He explains, “When you’re always on the go the last thing you think about is the initial thing you wear… [These undergarments are] decorative, but functional.”

Standouts of the collection include the pretty floral and butterfly printed blouses and shirtdresses for the ladies and the men’s color-blocked tops and sweaters. The classically-shaped handbags are sure to be big sellers, too. One of the looks not to be missed? The graphic, cartoon-inspired sweater that reads “BOOM” across the front, which was styled with slouchy, you-can-totally-wear-them-out sweatpants for the collection’s look book.

Although it took five years for Lim to agree to collaborate with Target on a low-priced line, Lim couldn’t be any happier with the outcome. He has, after all, come full circle: Lim has said, “It’s funny because when I was younger, I would go back to school shopping at Target.” Now, every back-to-school Target shopper will be able to purchase low-price designs from a high-end mind—literally, the look for less.

After a successful foray into the lower-end world, will Lim create an affordable line within his own label, a Marc by Marc Jacobs or Michael Kors? Not any time soon. Despite the challenging yet rewarding Target collaboration, Lim says “I never say never, but I can say not right now…I don’t really have anything to say [for a permanent lower-priced line] right now.”

The collection’s clothes are priced from an extremely affordable $19.99-$299.99, while the accessories run from $19.99-$59.99. At last, Philip Lim has crossed over from daydreams into reality for the average shopper.

The collection hits Target’s stores and website on Sunday, September 15. Just be sure to mark your calendars and brace yourselves: Once the collection is out, the “Limsanity” is sure to increase.

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Phillip Lim becomes latest upscale designer to partner with Target