Savage Beauty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s exhibit featuring the designs of the late Alexander McQueen was a smashing success. The exhibit was curated to perfection by Andrew Bolton, the British curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute and Harold Koda. Curators Bolton and Koda hired John Gosling, McQueen’s longtime music supervisor, who choose the music for the exhibit and Sam Gainsbury and Joseph Bennett, who helped produce so many of McQueen's theatrical runway shows, as creative consultants.
The exhibit was extended several times and drew a record number of visitors from May 4 to August 7, 2011.
Since the closing of the exhibit, other museums have followed suit, most notably the Museum at FIT featured an exhibit on Daphne Guinness, who not so coincidently owns a large portion of the designs that were on display at the Met. Further, there is talk that the exhibit will reopen in London sometime during the new year.
Missoni for Target was one of largest designer-mass retailer collaborations we have ever seen. It was certainly the largest for Target: consisting of over 500 pieces of which were menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, accessories, home goods, and even outdoor furniture and bikes. The collection was in such high demand that it crashed Target’s e-commerce website for several days upon its launch and the store was forced to cancel orders because it received that many! Moreover, the amount of returned items is reportedly quite minimal, unlike Versace for H&M, for which H&M stores have seen a huge influx of returned merchandise following the initial launch.
Why was this collection such a success? It was certainly not because this is a novel idea. Collaborations have been a commodity for buyers for some time now. Target, H&M, Topshop, and the like have been offering collections since approximately 2004, 2005. So, what was done differently this time? A few things. The marketing for Missoni collaboration was far more extensive than any that came before it. Missoni for Target covered more than a handful of pages in the September issue of Vogue magazine (including the back cover!), amongst other magazines and was featured in TV commercials. Also, the iconic nature of the Missoni designs likely led to the extreme demand for the pieces. Unlike the Target collections before it (Thakoon, Proenza Schouler, McQueen, etc., etc.), the Missoni collection was clad with the brand’s namesake zig-zag, which is arguably iconic – when someone sees it they think Missoni. Thus, Target’s low-price collection was a way for those who would not normally shop Missoni to get in on the luxury brand’s wears for cheap.
Moda Operandi is also a big name of 2011. Founded in February 2011 by Aslaug Magnusdottir, former head of merchandizing at Gilt Noir and Vogue darling, Lauren Santo Domingo, Moda Operandi isn’t playing games when it comes to high fashion. M’O brings you all of the most exclusive runway pieces in the quickest amount of time. Pre-order is the word at Moda Operandi! The site also offers the ultimate in vintage luxury: the rainbow of Birkin bags.
In case, Santo Domingo and Magnusdottir are not enough of a dream team, M’O has acquired Roopal Patel (former senior market accessories editor at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman), Taylor Tomasi Hill (former style and accessories director for Marie Claire) and Nina Garcia (who still holds her position as Fashion Director at Marie Claire). With flash sale sites quickly losing steam, this pricier alternative with serious luxury in mind is front and center.