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Target Internal Designers Compete for Fall Fashion Collection

Everyone knows that Target enlists some big designer names for limited edition collections — Missoni, Jason Wu, Phillip Lim and the upcoming PETER PILOTTO, to name a few.

Fewer folks know about the in-house designers that call Target home, and design year-round for brands exclusive to the Bullseye. Target’s internal product design and development (PD&D) team, made up of nearly 300 apparel and accessories (A&A) team members, is the talent behind brands like Merona, Mossimo, Mossimo Supply Co., Circo and Cherokee.

Taking a page from reality design competitions like Project Runway, the Target Men’s PD&D team hosted a competition of its own to help guys look stylish for less. While there were no cameras present, there was still plenty of design drama (the productive kind, of course).

From idea to execution, PD&D designers competed for the chance to develop a men’s ready-to-wear fall collection for Mossimo Supply Co. The two winning designers’ capsule collections will be featured in 100 Target stores across the country and on Target.com (only one of the largest retail sites around) for a limited time.

One of the competition’s judges, Ethan McCusker, Target’s VP of men’s apparel merchandising, helped select the two winning collections, which will be available from Oct. 12 to Nov. 24, and range in price from $19.99 to $59.99.

“Target has some of the most creative designers in the industry working right here in Minnesota and this competition gives us an opportunity to bring that talent to the forefront,” says Ethan. “We’re keeping inspiration and design alive within our own team, and bringing it directly to our guests, which is a huge part of what makes Target stand out.”

Unbeknownst to each other, both of the winning designers were inspired by the great outdoors, resulting in two cohesive collections for the rugged, yet refined guy.

In just over eight months, Jonathan Weiland created an apparel line boasting a canvas utility trouser, hooded henley sweatshirt, camo puffer vest and waxed bomber jacket, while Elizabeth Gardner designed on-the-go accessories, including an aviator watch, weekender bag and leather belt.

“The backdrop for this collection was all about getting out into the wild,” says Elizabeth. “Camo was a big part of this story, but the color palette — a range of greens and neutrals — and materials were a big influence, too.”

The quality of the collection matches the elevated styles. Materials like pebbled leather, French terry and waxed cotton are a few of the surprising fabrics and details spotted throughout the line.

“I’m most proud of the heavy canvas we used for the weekender duffel bag,” says Elizabeth. “You can feel the authenticity of it, the sturdiness.”

Ethan McCusker eagerly agrees. “Each piece has some surprising detail, whether it be the fabric quality, color or antique finishing. We think guests will love that wink factor.”

That ‘wink’ factor — whether it be the unexpected camo lining inside a pair of pants, a stitch of neon thread on an iPad case or a wooden handle on the gentleman’s umbrella — is what makes this collection so distinct.

But don’t take our word for it — be your own judge, and check out the collection below!

Shop the collection starting Oct. 12! 

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