A decision to launch the latest instalment of the popular Designers for Target clothing range early for its online customers has paid off for the price-conscious retailer.
As hundreds of dedicated fashion fans flocked to Target stores across Melbourne on Thursday to secure coveted items in the new collection created by Australian high fashion designer Dion Lee, web-savvy shoppers had the jump on high street customers by12-hours, with thousands making the most of the opportunity, according to a Target spokeswoman.
The highly anticipated Dion Lee for Target women's range is the latest in a long line of collaborations between big-name fashion labels and Target and while the mass hysteria generated in 2007 among fashionistas by the Stella MCCartney collection - reports of women clawing at each other on shop floors were not exaggerated - is unlikely to be repeated, the range is expected to sell out within the fortnight.
Ordinarily, garments from Lee's eponymous label are most often seen on the frames of celebrities, models, cashed up fashion fanatics and in the pages of glossy magazines.
A laser cut silk skirt in Lee's current ready to wear collection retails for up to $1500, placing his clothes well out of the reach of the everyday shopper.
In comparison, the Lee/Target collection comprises 36 items of structured and on-trend day-to-night clothing, loungewear, performance wear and accessories with a price range between $25 and $119, in sizes 6 to 16.
This is the key to the winning formula behind in the 'Designers for Target' program: pairing recognisable fashion "names" with a skinny price tag with a fashion conscious mass market.
Target general manager of women's clothing, Gillian Ridley Whittle said she was thrilled with the quality of the capsule collection.
"I think it is spot on," she said. "The product looks lovely, is a great quality, it is on trend and quite a youthful look.
"This delivers modern designer womenswear at an affordable price and the reception so far by our customers has been very positive"
Ms Ridley Whittle said online traffic and in-store sales had exceeded expectations.
Target Managing Director, Stuart Machin, said the retailer wanted to offer customers the opportunity to shop the exclusive range online before it launched instore, partly to capture a more youthful market.
"The Dion Lee for Target collection delivers modern, designer womenswear at an affordable price, and it is a range our customers will love."
Lee said he was particularly please to offer his first-ever sports-luxe performance range.
"My collection with Target combines style with function and reflects the wardrobe of the contemporary Australian woman at work or relaxing," he said.
"Designing performance wear was a new experience, and I was inspired to create modern women's activewear for everyday living."
Target has previously collaborated with designers including Josh Goot, Zac Posen, Collette Dinnigan Roberto Cavalli, Dita Von Teese, and Stella McCartney.
Meanwhile, key details of the annual Melbourne Spring Fashion Week will be revealed by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle next week.