Designer Collabs: What Cost Designer?

I saw a little something on Pinterest recently: a picture of pretty shoes with the caption proclaiming that Manolo Blahnik will be doing a collaboration with J.Crew in the fall. Manolo Freaking Blahnik. The man whose shoe sketches used to adorn my walls in high school. The man with the impossible stiletto. My heart beat a bit faster. My palms began to sweat. My fingers began to fly across the keyboard as I searched Google for more information.

And then, all my hopes came crashing to the ground. My vague hope of one day wearing my very own Manolos were dashed by the revelation that the collaboration of Manolo prints on a rather simple J.Crew pump is still ringing up at approximately $550. For that price, you could buy a Manolo label shoe.

Manolo Blahnik for J.Crew

Target perfected the designer collaboration, and now many stores that cater to a shopper without an unlimited budget are collaborating with big names. The Missoni x Target collab showed that collaborations are highly in demand. Generally people will pay a little more for the designer name, with the knowledge that the quality will be on par with the store’s usual brands. It’s a trade-off. And sometimes it’s worth it. There are a lot of great designer collabs out there. Some worth looking at:

The Jason Wu collaboration at Target is fresh and nautical, and stars an adorable cat. What could be better?

Jason Wu for Target

Jason Wu navy dress, $50
Jason Wu tee shirt dress, $50
Jason Wu navy top, $50
Jason Wu trench coat, $50
Jason Wu blue pleated skirt, $50
Jason Wu white scarve, $15
Jason Wu for Target® Textured Pleated-Front Pepl… : Target, $50
clothing, Jason Wu for Target, brand shop : Target, $50
Jason Wu for Target® Blue Floral Classic Flap Ha… : Target, $40

Though I have panned Christian Siriano’s designs for Payless in the past, I think they’re improving. His fall collection is quite dishy. Pony hair and metallics make them fancy, and they look less cheap than the designs I didn’t love in the past. Matter of fact, I am quite in love with his t-straps.

Christian Siriano for Payless

The next potential sell-out of Missoni proportions is the H&M collab with Marni that everyone is talking about. Some of the pieces are a little wacky, but overall I love the colors and the fun prints, as well as the range of products offered in this collab.

Marni for H&M

H M below the knee dress, $80
H M skirt, £40
H M handbag, $80
H M cord necklace, $40
Collier – chez H&M, £35

So what do you think? Would you pay exactly the same amount for J.Crew x Manolo shoes, or would you need to stick with the Target/H&M/Payless variety collabs?


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