Target designer Elisa McBride talks to a colleague

On the Job at Target: Meet the Designer with Babies on the Brain

Adorable plush animals, oh-so-cute bedding and onesies that make you go “aww”—that’s the work of Target designer Elisa McBride, whose art school-trained aesthetic is apparent on each and every one of the 500-plus pieces that make up Cloud Island, our brand-new baby line.

A 13-year Target vet who helped develop Target’s Nate Berkus Baby and oh Joy! collections, Elisa is now a senior designer for Nursery and Layette, working alongside a team of talented creatives, technical designers and engineers. Oh, and it’s safe to say that Elisa has babies on the brain, since she’s also a mom of three who had twins in November. (Just as she was putting the finishing touches on Cloud Island, her other baby!)

We caught up with Elisa on the nursery trends parents love, a-ha design moments, must-have accessories and more! 

What did you learn from guests that made its way into the collection?
Listening to our guests was incredibly important—it was at the core of our process. We went into it thinking that we would start with nursery basics like bedding, blankets, a few rugs and plush characters, but after spending time with parents and learning about their day-to-day needs, we decided to expand and include storage, lighting and décor pieces. The end result is that Cloud Island is a complete one-stop shop for parents.

Target designers confer over a design choice

Cloud Island products are playful and chic. What did new parents tell you about their favorite design trends?
More and more families are making the nursery an extension of their existing space; they want more options than just a light blue or a light pink. So, we intentionally avoided those types of themes. We also saw that new baby storage ideas have been really popular with parents, so that was an opportunity to create these cool, wall-hanging hexagon storage solutions. And they’re not just pretty – they’re practical, since getting stuff off the floor means there’s less to baby proof later.

How has your experience as a mom informed your perspective as a designer, and in particular, for Cloud Island?
I had a moment at the hospital on the second day after having my girls. I had brought our Cat & Jack preemie apparel for them, since they were on the smaller side, and you know what? I realized the little legs on their outfits were gaping funny. So I took photos and texted my manager right away about the fit, like ‘We need to get this fixed.’ We were able to improve quality and fit, and apply it to the new Cloud Island layette. Guest experience is so, so important, especially when it comes to Baby.

Which Cloud Island products do you think parents will fall in love with?
The play mats—that’s an item that’s new for us! We’ve never had anything like that before. It’s a simple place to lay the baby on, but it’s cushy, soft, and patterned—perfect for Instagram-worthy photos.

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