Lim line at Target gets unexpected early preview

JANET MOORE | Updated 9/10/2013

A handful of stores placed the hotly anticipated goods on sale.


Courtesy 3.1 Phillip Lim

Fashionistas have been anxiously awaiting the Sept. 15 debut of designer Phillip Lim’s clothing and accessories line at Target.

But a few eagle-eyed shoppers spotted some of the items last week at a Target store in Duluth, Ga., promptly snapped them up and then may have posted them for sale on eBay.

Turns out that a few items were inadvertently stocked at a “handful” of Target’s 1,800 stores and have since been removed, according to Joshua Thomas, a spokesman for the Minneapolis-based retailer. It was an “unfortunate operational oversight.”

New York-based Lim is the latest hot-hot-hot designer to partner with Target on a line of men’s and women’s clothing, accessories and footwear.

But the fashion website Racked noted that the Lim items were “placed next to Target’s regular fare, including visors and snapbacks.”

The horror.

Lim and collaborator Wen Zhou debuted the label — 3.1 Phillip Lim — during New York Fashion Week in 2005. His career has been a whirlwind ever since, attracting celeb fans Kate Hudson, Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley.

In fact, Jessica Alba and Solange Knowles sported items from his 3.1 Phillip Lin for Target line at the retailer’s sneak peek during Fashion Week last week. (Some of the eBay items may be part of the swag snatched at the launch party.)

Standout pieces for the Target line include bags, dresses and a trench coat for women, and shoes and a leather moto jacket for men, plus accessories such as a duffel bag and multipurpose pouches. Target describes them as “rooted in a classic fall palette of neutral tones and prints.”

Prices range from $19.99 to $299.99 — which may give some Target shoppers sticker shock. But consider that a Lim rabbit fur and leather tote sells for $1,350 at Nordstrom.

This isn’t the first snag in a rollout of a hotly anticipated Target designer line. In 2011, the launch of the retailer’s Missoni label crashed Target’s website for several hours.

“We do apologize for any confusion” about the true rollout date for the Lim goods, Thomas said. “It does speak to the excitement surrounding the lines that we create.”