1/08/2015

A Glimpse at the Successes of Designer Diffusion Lines

The internet has been buzzing lately with news of Lilly Pulitzer's new collaboration with retail-giant, Target. Debates have ensued over this piece of fashion news. Many Lilly fans applaud the new partnership, and can't wait to shop the more affordable collection when it debuts in stores. They praise the decision as vibrant, summery prints will now be made available to a broad range of buyers.

Others had a more negative reaction to the brand's decision to team up with Target, and are speaking out on social media platforms. A Refinery 29 article outlines the different types of Lilly x Target haters, including those who think this new collaboration will decrease the worth of the brand because "basic b*tches" will begin buying Lilly Pulitzer items, those who think Lilly Pulitzer is too classy for the likes of Target, those who are upset by the fact that people will not know the worth of their clothes (is it "real" Lilly, or Target Lilly?-- one must wonder), and people who claim that Lilly Pulitzer herself must be rolling over in her grave. The article by Refinery 29 is hysterically funny, and features the crème de la crème of Lilly x Target Twitter reactions.

What could be so bad about a designer and discount retail-giant collaboration? We've seen it done before, including partnerships between Alexander Wang and H&M, Isabel Marant and H&M, Lauren Conrad and Kohls, and Vera Wang and Kohls. These prestigious designers and brands have collaborated with "lower-end" retailers to produce what is known as a diffusion line, and have not been degraded by teaming up with these stores.

Lauren Conrad is proof that collaborating with a lower-end store to produce more affordable pieces is not necessarily a bad thing. The former reality TV celebrity has two lines, Paper Crown and LC by Lauren Conrad. The former is a designer brand with the same price range as Lilly Pulitzer, and is sold at Nordstrom, among other stores. The latter is a brand sold exclusively at Kohls. In a Forbes article, Conrad describes her partnership with Kohls as "great," and "healthy." Her more expensive line has yet to be defamed due to her designs also sold at a more affordable, wallet-friendly store.




Before we make any judgments on the Lilly Pulitzer brand's business decisions (because we're all branding experts, right?) lets just wait it out, and see what the partnership has in store. Literally. Perhaps this could be the best thing for those who cherish pieces that are reminiscent of family vacations to the beach.

- Alyssa

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