It's better late than never. They say it takes years for fashion concepts to filter down to the mass market, and if this Sunday's online launch of the Target Collective is any indication, then the mass-market chain is right on time to show up and take over the Made in U.S.A. Heritage Brand movement. The ongoing program is launching with six men's accessory and apparel labels who have made it a point to maintain manufacturing in the U.S.A. Unlike other designer collaborations of the past, the brands will be offering specially designed merchandise but manufacture it themselves using their usual methods and materials. The 90 products (a selection pictured above) offered will, therefore be somewhat more expensive than the usual Target fare, ranging from $10 to $270 with most falling under $100. Participating brands include, Jersey City's Billykirk, known for handcrafted leathergoods; Brooklyn's Owen & Fred, known for accessories and travel gear; San Francisco's Taylor Stitch, known for fastidiously tailored shorts; Minnesota's Duluth Pack known for canvas and leather bags; Iowa's Locally Grown, known for graphic tee-shirts and New York's cult-favorite Terrapin Stationers. Though it is launching with men's items, the Target Collective is meant to be applied to any category in the store, so it may return with women's, children's home or any number of categories if successful. For the moment, the initial launch will be online only with the exception of a selection of Billykirk products that will his a group Target stores in May that have been carefully selected to support the interest in higher fashion items.
Of course, to a great many menswear followers, the Heritage Brand concept has been simmering for several years at this point, and no shortage of heavy, handmade leather belts have been at trade shows and men's fashion events at this point. For the Target customer, however, the concept should have more novelty, hopefully, and promoting domestic production is always worthwhile, especially when a retailer with the capacity for huge volume like Target is concerned. Have a look at some of the offerings in our slideshow below, and be ready to shop on Sunday the 15th when it launches at Target.com