On Sunday, big box retailer Target is launching Target Collective, a new umbrella program featuring six high-end, American-made men’s brands. It’s the first of Target’s many high-low fusions to focus exclusively on men’s products. And not just any men's products, either. These designs are all decidedly lumbersexual, appealing to the bearded, flannel-wearing, outdoorsy-looking man who's having none of the skinny jeans trend (even if he carries a MacBook Air and spends more time in bars than in his imaginary wood shop).
The collective will be available online only at first, signaling a strategic move to capitalize on the exploding e-commerce market for menswear. The six partner brands, which all prioritize local manufacturing, help align Target with the ever-popular maker movement and the "artisanal" branding craze. It's also part of Target's push to reclaim its design moxy.
The designs, for the most part, have a rugged, understated aesthetic, in army green, gray, black, and navy—Ron Swanson might shop this new collection. There are nearly 90 items in the collective, including leather goods, gifts, clothes, and stationery. The six brands were chosen to complement each other, and include Brooklyn-based Owen & Fred (perhaps the most lumbersexual-sounding first names ever), which makes leather luggage tags, soap and soap dishes, notebooks, and pens; leather and canvas design company Billykirk; and men’s shirt designers Taylor & Stitch. Locally Grown sells T-shirts at farmer’s markets, food co-ops, and crunchy boutiques—the modern lumbersexual has an environmentalist bent. Duluth Pack has been making luggage at its Minnesota factory since 1882 (its most popular portfolio is made of "tough" bison leather). The century-old New York-based Terrapin Stationers specializes in hand-embossing.
Some of the items available will be existing products from the brands, while others will be exclusive items developed with Target’s internal product design team. They’ll retail for $10 to $270—on the pricey side for the discount chain—with most below $100. As of now, it’s exclusively men’s products, but may expand to include women’s products in the coming months.