NEW YORK (AP) — After the highly organized, sale-hungry holiday shoppers have come and gone, the crowd roaming the aisles at Target is largely made up of hip teenagers and 20-somethings padded with gift cards, looking for something cool to wear out that very night.
That’s where the new collaborative collection from William Rast — aka Justin Timberlake’s fashion label — fits in.
Denim and leather jackets traditionally sell well in the December-January time frame, says Trish Adams, senior vice president of apparel and accessories, and that put William Rast at the top of the retailer’s list for a limited-edition program.
For William Rast, Target brings exposure to a wider audience, including some people who have no idea what to expect — and that’s appealing, explains co-founder Trace Ayala, Timberlake’s childhood friend and design partner.
“For us, at the end of the day, when a company like Target comes to you, and you’re a brand like ours in an economy like it is, it’s a no-brainer,” Ayala says.
The look of this line is 100 percent the bohemian American traveler, the same DNA as the more upscale collection, he says. Yes, you might notice a difference in construction, but you’ll also notice the price tag, which has women’s faux-leather shorts for $39.99 and men’s jeans with oil stains for $49.99.
Ayala’s been wearing the jeans and the flannel shirts, which he says are better for his outdoor sports hobbies than the stuff William Rast shows on the runway.
Men’s likely interest in the brand was a key part of the deal, says Target’s Adams. “We really wanted to find something that could sell across genders — that’s something hard to find.”
The fact that Timberlake’s name isn’t on the label, however, wasn’t a factor.
“We think some customers will know the name, but for every garment you sell with people lining out the door to get something from Justin Timberlake or William Rast, there’s customers doing their weekly shopping and see something they like and discover the designer from the hangtag.”