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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Target Misses The Mark (according to Proenza Schouler)

The fashion blogosphere is abuzz lately with a feud brewing between luxury brand Proenza Schouler and cheap-'n'-chic retailer Target. The culprit? Proenza Schouler claims Target's new Mossimo Messenger Bag is a wee bit too close for comfort to the iconic PS-1 messenger bag. 

What do you think? The $1,995 version is on top...the $34 version below.

Part of the reason Proenza Schouler is so upset? They've collaborated with Target in the past on one of their "Go International" collections. And as designer Jack McCullough told Cathy Horyn of the New York Times in her recent blog post, "Yeah, why save up and buy ours when you can buy theirs right away?"

Can you spot the difference?

Of course, knock off's are an issue that transcend fashion and carry over to many industries- including home decor. Look at Madeleine Weinrib style pillows and rugs- they've spawned a whole industry of copycat chic. 

Madeliene Weinrib Black Buche

Ikea Stockholm Rand
I think McCullough, in a way, over simplifies the dilemma- the same person who would (and more importantly, could) spend $1,995 on a designer handbag isn't going to say "Great! I'll buy this fake leather $34 one instead and be just as happy!" You're talking apples and oranges here in terms of clientele. However, I think that where the real dilemma comes in for high end designers is that knock off's dilute their look that they've understandably put a lot of research and development into. If thousands of teenagers wearing at suburban malls around the country are carrying this style of messenger bag, will fashion-conscious insiders still want to shell out big bucks for this bag? Unlikely. Sort of like what happened when LV knockoffs became so rampant.

So here we have another "democratization of design" dilemma on our hands- it's great that high style is becoming more affordable, but is this at the cost of diluting the work of high end designers? 

What do y'all think???


Jenn @ Living Luxe for Less said...

I think these bags are very different! The Proenza bag is much nicer! I'm all about finding a good bargain, but I don't understand why the people at Proenza are so upset...there are so many messenger bags on the market, and these bags are not identical!

Michele said...

I agree with Jenn. These bags aren't even close and I, personally, don't think Proenza bags are that iconic or recognizable to the degree other brands are. People aren't going to buy these Target bags thinking they look like Proenza bags or that they will pass as the same bags. To me this isn't even close to being the same as the LV knockoffs or all the fake sunglasses out there.

Margaret said...

When I was a kid, everybody's bookbag looked like that. What's the fuss?

Jenna@simplybonvivant said...

Honestly...the Proenza bag isn't all that "high" fashion anyway. Its totally on trend and that being the case you know that Target and H&M and Forever21 are going to have similar styles, we aren't talking this brand new style that can't be found anywhere. Messenger bags just happen to be a big item this year, so that being the case, let all clientele, rich or not have their indulgence in trendiness and stop complaining...!

Brianna said...

PS has nothing to worry about, the pleather on these is so bad that no one would mistake it for the real deal. I am not a bag snob by any means, but a bag has to be soft and smooshy for me to buy it and these were very stiff and fake feeling. wish Target had shelled out a little more and made the material a better quality

Betsy said...

I have seen these in real life at my local Target, and there is a BIG difference. I agree with Jenn!

Michelle said...

A messenger bag is, well, a messenger bag...they look nothing alike except for they are both messengers!

Anonymous said...

I agree, these bags do not serve the same clientele. Like one of the comments above states, I had one that looked pretty similar too in grade school from the local army surplus store, are they the next designer targets?

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