Target’s Design Team Brings South American Style Stateside

June 18, 2015 - Article reads in
Inspirational images captured during the design team's trip to South America

Has travel ever inspired you? Sampling exotic cuisine, listening to foreign chatter or even just taking in the light at dusk in a faraway place can compel anyone to get creative.  And that’s just how Target’s Product Design and Development (PD&D) team felt after they packed their bags for one of the most diverse and beautiful places in the world: Brazil.

Target has long been a fan of Brazil – the gorgeous white sand beaches, the Portuguese tongue, the colorful style and the fusion of different cultures make it, along with a number of neighboring locales, a natural pick for a design inspiration trip that would later end up influencing the styles reflected in Target’s Merona summer collection.

The team’s work immediately caught the eye of one stylish globe-trotter: Target partner and Brazil native Camila Alves. On her most recent trip to Target HQ, Camila stopped in her tracks when she saw the lively colors eccentric textures and tasteful styles highlighted in the pieces. 

“The Target collection really captures the movements, textures and bold flavors that we have in my country,” said Camila. "After traveling all around the world, I can say that Brazil is one of the places I see the most cultural mix of color, music, rhythm, passion and pride!”

So where exactly did the PD&D team go to get a taste of all of the South American flavor they introduced into Target's apparel and accessories?

“We wanted our team to experience firsthand the sights and sounds of these vibrant places to inspire them to create authentic designs,” said Julie Guggemos, senior vice president PD&D, Target“We were interested in the whole spectrum of cultural influence: from the beach and cafes to the street art and museums.”

Beach, lighthouse and boardwalk in South AmericaStreet art in BrazilOutside of a museum in South America

“The team sought out the venues for music, dance and vintage flea market shopping,” said Julie. “The influences that ended up making the most impact on design and final product were the color and the crafted details of the regional artisans -- woven materials, laces, embroidery, fringe, pom-poms and tassels.”

Colorful pillows seen in the South American marketWoven baskets in the South American marketplace

“Our team took photos, filmed footage and even bought some vintage items to be inspired by,” said Julie. “The South America trip directly informed the initial color, storytelling, prints and patterns for the summer Merona collection.”

Without further ado, take a peek at the head-turning highlights (and Camila’s personal favorites!) from Merona’s summer assortment of apparel and accessories, and see the different ways Target’s PD&D team brought their South American inspiration to life:

Out now, you can shop Target’s Merona summer collection in Target stores and on!

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