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.
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: