In Their Own Words: Target’s 20th Anniversary Collection Partners Celebrate ‘Design For All’

  • Aug 29, 2019

Turns out guests aren’t the only ones feeling nostalgic following the news that Target is bringing back select pieces from some of our most iconic designer collaborations. In fact, our designer partners have gotten in on the fun, revealing their creative process and product inspiration in a new Collaborators micro-documentary series, produced by RadicalMedia, and upcoming Rizzoli book, “Target: 20 Years of Design for All: How Target Revolutionized Accessible Design.” Both offer a behind-the-scenes peek at what it takes to bring incredible design to guests at an incredible value, a give-and-take that involved partners ranging from Michael Graves to Lilly Pulitzer. Want a sneak peek? Read on for some highlights from five designers and their teams, who reminisce about their favorite fashion moments and fond Target memories.

Question: We’ve talked a lot about the importance of Design for All—making design accessible and affordable to the masses. What does that mean for you?

“For an immigrant who didn't come from a place of status, to all of a sudden becoming a part of American history—anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Beauty and quality is something that was really quite unattainable before, and now I think people are just simply being celebrated for who they are, not what the world expects them to be.” —Jason Wu (2012)

“[Michael Graves] felt design should be accessible for everyone. And that wasn't happening in modernist architecture. That all builds this next order of architecture and product design.” —Donald Strum, Principal-Product Design for Michael Graves (1999-2013)

Question: Why was a partnership with Target meaningful for you and your work?

“The Target collection was so pivotal for my career. With the money I earned from the Target partnership, I was able to decide that if I was going to do fashion I needed to move to New York City. Target found me and believed in me, and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity and connect to an audience that I wasn’t able to on my own.” —Erin Fetherston (2007)

“The great thing about working with Target was that they were interested in working with artists and designers to create really beautiful things.” —John Derian (2008, 2010)

Question: What was the inspiration behind your collection(s) for Target? 

“The inspiration behind my collaboration with Target was this American girl in Paris. Anything that took her from day to evening …The whole color palette was really based around navy, red, and black and pink. I love the '60s, so there's that New Wave inspiration. These shoulder shapes gave the collection a very lighthearted spirit.” —Jason Wu (2012)

“The brand today really relies on the elements that made the brand so magical in the first place. That is, our love of print. We have an amazing team of print designers who are just the most unbelievable, creative artists. They're painting every day. They're inspired by nature. They're turning these prints into the artwork that can go on garments, and it's a really incredible process to watch.” —Michelle Kelly, CEO, Lilly Pulitzer (2015)

Question: Can you share a memory from the first time you partnered with Target? 

January 2005 was my first fashion show. My first proper New York Fashion Week show in Bryant Park … I left the tent and went to Target headquarters to learn more about the GO International collection. I didn’t have to think twice about it—it was a ‘pinch me’ moment. I was still so young, and didn’t have one employee at the time.” —Erin Fetherston (2007)

“As we were beginning our design process with Target in 2014, we said we are going to give Target our best prints, our most creative content, and all of that same attention to detail and love and craftsmanship that we would put into our collections. Because there is only one Lilly, and anyone who wants to be a part of the Lilly Pulitzer brand can be a part of this brand and can experience this sense of optimism and fun that we stand for.”—Michelle Kelly, CEO, Lilly Pulitzer (2015)

“Every day was delightful in coming to work. We're playing with colored pencils. We're playing with paper, erasers, crayons. It's art class every day. And that at the end of the result, it's the artfulness transfers into commerce and developing into something that everyone else can enjoy.” —Donald Strum, Principal-Product Design for Michael Graves (1999-2013)

There are plenty of ways to keep the story of Target’s Anniversary Collection and 20 Years of Design for All going! Be sure to snag Rizzoli’s “Target: 20 Years of Design for All: How Target Revolutionized Accessible Design” (available for pre-order and on shelves Sept. 3), which showcases the behind-the-scenes history of our partnerships and iconic collections. Plus, check out a gallery of iconic images below, as well as our documentary film trailer and our Collaborators series, that highlights the stories from designer partners themselves. 

Target: 20 Years of Design for All: How Target Revolutionized Accessible Design

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The Anniversary Collection will be available at all Target stores and on beginning Saturday, Sept. 14, while supplies last. Designer collections and items will vary by store and guests may purchase up to five identical items per size and color. Guests can visit to plan their trip accordingly. Prices range from $7 to $160 and will be offered in sizes XS-3X for women, S-XXL for men, XS-XL for kids and 0-3M-5T for toddlers and babies. Stay tuned to A Bullseye View in the coming weeks for behind-the-scenes details! 

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