The Italian luxury women’s fashion line Missoni has partnered with the low-end retailer Target to launch a major new collection of affordable designs. The line was so popular that it actually brought down the Target web site last week, and many online customers have complained about Missoni orders that were canceled or delayed. Most of the Missoni clothing and accessories Target offered sold out quickly; there are reports of some of the items showing up on eBay a few hours later, marked up dramatically.
Missoni is famous for upscale knitwear featuring stripes, abstract patterns, and geometric designs, and for the use of different kinds of fabrics for the same item. It is an upscale brand.
Leaving aside the customer service issues raised by this new launch, I want to pose a larger question for readers of this blog: Was this marriage of a luxury brand and a low-end distribution channel a good idea or a strategic mistake?
I have my own opinions on this question, but I plan on sharing them after I hear from you. What do you think? Was this a smart move for Missoni?