Invincible Summer

by NJG

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jason Wu, & A Surprisingly Feminist Thing

Did you hear what happened on the way to Missoni?
Of course you did. When Missoni released their giant collection for Target, things went crazy. The Target website crashed, almost EVERY item was sold out within two hours of our local store opening, and the pieces showed up on Ebay within minutes, priced at three times their retail value. Those who braved the stores told tales of Ebay sellers swiping racks and racks of merchandise and leaving would-be buyers in the dust.

If I half-heartedly wanted some Missoni tights (the poor man's version of the tights pictured above), I shook it off and moved on with life once I saw the Target carnage & eBay aftermath.

SO. When Jason Wu (who rose to fame after designing Michelle Obama's inauguration dress) released a look book of designs for Target, I was all in.
If I had thousands upon thousands of dollars and you asked me to choose a designer to spend it on, he would be right up top. Here:

I'm not a real "new clothes" kind of person, as you may have seen or smelled (it smells faintly of moth balls)from my mostly polyester 60s 70s wardrobe.
I do sometimes have occasion for an outfit free of stains & tears (this occasion would be Teaching In The Suburbs), and Jason Wu had apparently taken a sketch book into my closet and returned with an updated & classy line of pleats and high collars that were calling my name.

Because I'm telling you what happened next! I'll get to it, I'll get to it.
On February 4th, the eve of the clothing line's release, I was steeling myself, preparing to rise at 5 a.m. in order to drive to the far stretches of Clackamas and camp out, alone, outside of their local Target.
As I stepped into pajamas at 7 p.m., I thought I'd sniff around the internet.

Target never said what time their clothing would appear online, only that it would happen on February 5th. Style blogs said that it could happen anytime from midnight eastern time (9 p.m. in Portland) on. I thought I'd give it a try, and at least see what was going on before setting out on my own Clackamas Mission.
I haunted the Target Style Facebook page, and started following them on twitter.

Target was supposed to post on there when the clothes were live on the site. BUT, eager commenters got there first and started posting links for each other as soon as their ever-refreshing Target website showed new things to purchase.

Conversations would be like "There's Dresses!" and someone would say "Link Please!" and the other person would respond with the link and then someone else would go "Aaah The Link Doesn't Work With My Browser I Can't See Any Dresses!" and then more people would give them links and troubleshoot via comment.
Pretty nice of them!

I KNOW this rabid shopping is Target's wet dream, and you are probably imagining one of those pigs smoking a cigar and wearing a top hat, counting money with his cloven hooves as he crushes the proletariat with his porky little butt, but just bear with me, okay?

Long story short, they started posting things pell mell around 9:15 my time, and didn't stop until 11:40 p.m.

I wouldn't have gotten the things that I did without the help of the ladies on Facebook and their generosity. Of all things.

So then there was this thing.

There were all of these women, totally exhausted/excited from this insane, Get-As-Many-Sizes-As-You-Can-This-Shit-Will-Be-Gone-In-Five-Minutes marathon that happened for nearly three hours,
and they were all fond of each other.

The next day, they were trading tales of shopping woe on the wall of the Target page (A couple of A-holes in Miami ran into the store and literally purchased every item in order to sell it on Ebay & had to get escorted out by security after women started shouting at them), when somebody suggested that to spite to "Ebay Vultures" who ruined things in person, we start our own Facebook Group in order to swap & amongst ourselves.

This is where the surprising feminism comes in.

As of today, five days after the launch of the Jason Wu for Target collection, there are 960 members of the group. They have a strict code that the group is for Retail Price sales only. They delete links to high-priced Ebay auctions & talk amongst themselves when a "vulture" comes in.
They've started several spreadsheets in order to keep track of the HUNDREDS of girls who have things to swap, and have things they're looking to buy.
Women have been going to their local Targets, posting on the site what is left, and taking orders for complete strangers.
*Note: This is a photo from the FB Group, not my own stuff!

There is a sizing chart where people are posting the proportions of the clothes as they get them, and a photo gallery where everyone is showing how the clothes look on their real, non-model bodies (complete with "You Go Girl" style comments).

The last time I looked on there, somebody was creating a tshirt design for "The Wu Sisters", as they started to call themselves.

It's pretty crazy, very orderly, very supportive, and I'd call it The Kind Hearted Sisterhood of the High Buttoned Collar.

Anyway, I'm sure if you are wearing a butt flap right now (I'm not sure why I imagine a teenage crusty punk reading my blog and judging me, but I just do) you are rolling your eyes at this most first worldly show of feminism, but I have felt delighted to see something constructive & interesting come out of what could have been just another opportunity for competition and greed.

Anyway, if you're looking for it, it is called
Jason Wu for Target :: Swap, Sell & Buy.


Amy said...

Thanks for sharing this story, Nicole! There's not enough niceness in the world; it's heartening to see people looking out for one another and demonstrating that we are all in this together. Sure, today it's helping each other find fashionable clothes. Tomorrow, who knows? Kindness begets kindness, IMO.

Lady Duran said...

Why isn't a "limit" imposed by Target? For example, Kiehl's has a limit exactly for the purpose of preventing resale of their wares. Any resale of goods must be sold by dealer at same price as retail store. It's a simple as adding a couple of lines of code into software preventing sale of x number of items. This would prevent a Miami situation.

NJG said...

Lady Duran, good point! That Miami store in particular was going to limit the people, but then called headquarters & discovered there is no official law on the Target books limiting purchases. So bizarre.
Btw, I owe you a calendar. Come over!

Sara said...

great post! it's amazing how wonderful this group has been... (and how much money I've managed to spend, mind you) but I truely feel like we are a family, all thousand of us! And its crazy you went to the Clackamas store, I was at Mall 205 on Feb 5! And I work right across the street in the Clackamas Town Center! Crazy!