The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Off the Rack: Target x Neiman Marcus Collection

On Monday, a full two days after the December 1 launch of the Target x Neiman Marcus holiday gift collection, I ventured to my local Target store to see what was left - and not surprisingly, everything was still on the shelves. In multiples. I say "not surprisingly" because I had been watching the inventory levels on and noticed just about every item was still available. This was no Missonipocalypse, so I'll give Target props for orchestrating a sane launch and imposing shopping limits (purchase quantity is limited to 5 per same item and items must be returned by January 15). But if the buzz on my Instagram feed is correct, the real reason things aren't selling out is the high prices. It's hard to rationalize spending $59.99 on a white canvas tote in the middle of winter even if it says Oscar de la Renta. And while the $79.99 Altuzarra tray was admittedly luxe, my money could go farther on other Target homegoods from say, the Threshold brand (love that line!) Call me a budget shopping vulture, but I'm hoping some of these items will go on sale, like the Tracy Reese dessert plates (beautiful but they don't say "dishwasher" safe - the box does, the actual plates do not. Hmmm.) This collection definitely has its gorgeous moments - the ivory Marchesa dress for girls looks so chic in person - but I had to walk away empty-handed, spending my money on pumpkin spice oatmeal and Fage yogurt instead.

How about you, what did you buy from the collection? Thoughts on quality, pricing?

Keep reading to see lots of real-life photos of the collection.

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I thought the entire collection was disappointing. might get some things when they go on super clareance.
#1 betsy on 2012-12-05 12:15 (Reply)
Underwhelming, if you ask me.
#2 Bridget on 2012-12-05 12:23 (Reply)
I have to agree w/you. I like some of the items, enough, but the prices are insane. I think they failed to keep in mind that they are selling this @ TARGET. I really liked the suitcase, but $180 for ONE suitcase is ridiculous. I won't be purchasing anything for this line.
#3 Piper Alexander (Homepage) on 2012-12-05 12:26 (Reply)
I picked up the Lela Rose watercolor dress I'd been coveting since the promotions began and also a Tory Burch thermos for my aunt. I definitely hemmed and hawed over the ivory Marchesa dress since I'm pregnant but I don't know if I'm having a girl and even for Marchesa, $100 is too much to spend on baby clothes.
#4 Megan F on 2012-12-05 12:41 (Reply)
was told by Target employees it will not go on sale or clearance bc of the designers, hope that's not true, would love to get some of this for less!
#5 kathryn young on 2012-12-05 12:53 (Reply)
@kathryn young - Say it ain't so!
#5.1 The Budget Babe on 2012-12-05 13:38 (Reply)
Perhaps this is not the best collaboration from Target's point of view. Neiman is trying to get target customers into their doors which I think to some degree they have succeeded. But because of Neiman association, Target had to keep the prices high enough for NM standard which is at least 30% too high for a typical designer collaboration at Target. Check out my review of this collaboration and I'm raffling off a set of Tracy Reese plates!
#6 Kevin (Homepage) on 2012-12-05 13:12 (Reply)
@Kevin - I love your analysis and item-by-item comparisons! I window shop at high-end stores just to get a sense of the quality and pricepoints and I could easily see all these items selling at Neiman Marcus for much more (not saying they are worth much more, but NM could charge more). But at the end of the day, I'm still a Target shopper...sigh.
#6.1 The Budget Babe on 2012-12-05 13:38 (Reply)
There are a couple of cute things in the collection but overall i was not that impressed. I found things I preferred in the Merona and Threshold ranges that were half the price. I am sure these will go to major stock clearance, I will wait until then, I think.
#7 Hannah (Homepage) on 2012-12-05 13:46 (Reply)
I too have heard from various resources that not only will the clothes not go on sale or clearance, but anything leftover will be sent back to warehouses & distribution centers for the items to be DESTROYED! If this is true (& the info is coming from Target employees) it is such a wasteful, selfish act on behalf of the designers, Neiman Marcus & Target. What makes this collection & the designers in it any more special than other collabs who have gone on sale? Sorry, it just ticks me off that they would even consider something so wasteful and totally "anti-green" in todays world.
#8 kelli on 2012-12-05 14:28 (Reply)
If kelli's comment is true, that these clothes will be destroyed, then we have to raise a ruckus about this. There are way too many nonprofits in the world that could use these clothes. Foster kids need them! Foster kids that have aged out of the system need them! Refugees, women escaping domestic violence.... endless list!! How could anyone justify destroying new clothes??
#9 SE on 2012-12-05 15:23 (Reply)
There are signs by the merchandise that say it cannot be returned after a certain date and some other verbiage. I gathered from the sign that this stuff would not be going on clearance. I agree the prices are ridiculous... the whole reason I shop at Target rather than Neiman Marcus is for fast, cheap fashion and while the quality does seem higher than Merona or Mossimo, etc. I could not get over the sticker shock when I saw the items in person.
#10 MEP on 2012-12-05 16:13 (Reply)
I love when you do these Off the Rack posts. It makes me feel like I'm seeing the items first hand without having to trek to the store. Thank you always!
#11 MAC (Homepage) on 2012-12-05 16:32 (Reply)
Just posted on this BB, and agree with you the price point is a stumbling block for the quality delivered! It's not selling in Los Angeles.
#12 Mary Hall (Homepage) on 2012-12-05 16:48 (Reply)
It's definitely not selling in LA. I love the gorgeous tray as well, the bar set with glasses is nice, but not at that price point. The pet dish is nice and well made, but the price is outrageous. As a follower of BB, The Recessionista and many other bargain and thrift blogs, I can't pay these prices for these items.
#13 Brenda on 2012-12-05 17:26 (Reply)
Miss D, thank you so much for sharing this post. I knew it was coming from you so I didn't even bother to hit my local Target because I seriously wanted to read your opinion and the opinion of your followers too. I have to agree with some of your followers, price point wise, It is way to high, and you know I am a Target shopper, so when I see something nice at times I haven't mind paying the full price. But honestly looking at some of these designers items, I think Mossimo have done better, and please excuse this harsh opinion. I wanted the DVF yoga mat, don't think it is $49 dollars cute and specially for the purpose. LOL. I am so sad to see that any item that doesn't sell will be destroyed, that doesn't make any sense at all. Too many charities out there that could use some of these items and benefit a lot of families that have lost a lot due to these bad storms, specially after Sandy. Thanks for sharing again but I don't think I will be rushing for Target :-(
#14 Berty Morales (Homepage) on 2012-12-05 17:55 (Reply)
I only bought the PS sweatshirt. I love it, and it was only $29.99, vs some ridiculous pricing for some of the other items. The little girl dresses were gorgeous in person. I agree, however, that if there is any truth to these items being destroyed after their time in-store, they need to be donated instead. Possibly those of us with FB or Twitter can post on Target and/or NM pages and see if some publicity will get them to do the right thing.
#15 Shauna W on 2012-12-05 20:41 (Reply)
I bought the sweatshirt too (to be put under the Christmas tree) since it was the only thing I could wear all the time and the price was not bad at $29.99. The only other item I would buy would be that purple watercolor dress. At $99.99 it was way more expensive than any other dress at Target, but if I was going to an event over the holiday season or in the spring it's not that much to spend on a good quality dress.
#15.1 Maggie D on 2012-12-05 22:37 (Reply)
I only bought the Tory Burch lunchbox. My mom got the Derek Lam slippers. She really liked the tray but she thought 80 bucks was too much. She also thought that the line's prices were too high for Target shoppers. Which is true.
#16 greenfairie on 2012-12-05 22:23 (Reply)
I agree that the vast majority of the pieces are completely overpriced. Though I came away empty-handed, there are two items that I thought are very worthwhile, even at full price: the Brian Atwood leather gloves and the Rag & Bone boys cardigan (for me, not a kid - I'm petite and can wear a boys' XL). $50 is a great deal for long, real leather gloves; I only skipped them because I already own a similar pair (that I paid a lot more for!). I ended up finding the cardigan too itchy for my taste, but it's well made, and $50 isn't a bad price for a wool-cotton cardigan with no synthetic fillers.
#17 Nikki F. on 2012-12-05 23:06 (Reply)
Wow, I thought the poor sales were probably just in my smallish midwestern town. I agree with everyone, the prices are great for those designers but tough to justify at Target. Some of the pieces are beautiful- I love the look of the glasses, the shaker and the dessert plates, but not beautiful enough to get me to drop that kind of cash. I was so excited for this collab and there was so much potential!
#18 kmw on 2012-12-06 01:54 (Reply)
Wish Marchesa would have done dresses for women instead of little girls. What is the quality on those Marc Jacobs pouches?
#19 Mel on 2012-12-06 08:53 (Reply)
I just checked out the collection yesterday. A few things disappointed me. First, the prices seem to be about 15-20% higher than other collections. Second, some of the designs are just underwhelming. And third, I don't think all the talent they had was utilized the best it could be. I mean, Diane Von Furstenberg made a jewelry box and a yoga mat? Hello!!! If you have DVF at your disposal, you ask her to make a wrap dress! I'm sure at some point they will have to put this all on clearance, and then maybe I'll grab a few things.
#20 ajdematteo on 2012-12-06 09:57 (Reply)
I sincerely hope the rumors about Target "trashing" this collection after Jan. 5th isn't true! I plan to ask them directly on their FB page. Destroying these items goes against Target's eco/green initiatives, so I can't see how they could justify this.
#21 Target-Addict (Homepage) on 2012-12-06 11:10 (Reply)
I too was very dissapointed by the collection. I expected better design and the cost is just too high. The only thing I really want are those dessert plates but I need eight and there is no way I'm spending $80 on eight DESSERT plates no matter who designed it.
#22 Primadonna (Homepage) on 2012-12-06 11:57 (Reply)
I did check out the collection in person. It is nice but you are right about one thing ... the cost. That was why I held back on a few things, I do really like the plates too but it'll have to wait. The only thing I did get was the jewelry box was because I needed a jewelry box and I thought the print was nice. When I showed the hubby, he was shocked at how much it cost. Lol!!
#23 Cynthia on 2012-12-06 23:45 (Reply)
I thought this collection was completely overrated and wrote about it too..
#24 Malvika (Homepage) on 2012-12-07 12:48 (Reply)
I stumbled upon the collection on accident and found nothing that I absolutely had to have. Sad, because I was in a money spending mood!
#25 Crista (Homepage) on 2012-12-07 15:37 (Reply)
i was im shock at the prices. really 100.00 bucks for a girls dress? luckily i found it cheap on Ebay for my daughter and bought her a size that will fit her now and for a long time since she is a petite girl. it was waaaayyy cheap on ebay. i also loved the Tracy Reese sequined top, but found it way too much...also found it for waaaay less on ebay. i only bought the lunch box and sweatshirt....i am ok with the lunch box, but i love the sweatshirt the most. i was not sure about this collection, all the items(except lunch box and sweatshirt) were waaayyy over priced. and for them not to be clearanced? um Rodarte, Jason guys sold your designs before with Target for way cheaper and just because Neiman Marcus is attached to it...makes it worth more? the water color dress and Oscar de la Renta purse were the poorest quality of material and not worth the price given!
#26 Lydia Duran (Homepage) on 2012-12-08 22:05 (Reply)
What a letdown.
The Oscar de la Renta dog collar & leash set was terribly made. It didn't even buckle properly. The dog bowls only came in one big size, too, which didn't make sense.
#27 Karla Gutierrez-Pugh on 2012-12-09 13:52 (Reply)
I think the price points definitely scared some people off. I picked up two things, the Tracy Reese top and Marc Jacobs clutch, because I know I'll use them. And the pouch is real leather, so the price tag didn't sting quite as much.: ) I too loved the Marchesa dresses, but couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger!
#28 Kristin (Homepage) on 2012-12-11 12:26 (Reply)
I just ran into my Target today. The collaboration is 70% off. I'm in Columbus, OH. I got the Skaist Taylor vest for $23. There are TONS of all items, still remaining. The collaboration was a flop. I liked items. But despite the NM connection, I'm not convinced that the quality is there. Target regulars didn't bite because the collection, overall, is very dark & subversive. I love cutting edge pieces but the average Target shopper must not. Especially at the holidays.
#29 Caffinatediva Diva on 2013-01-01 20:24 (Reply)
@Caffinatediva Diva - Thanks for the tip! I was Target today and picked up the Tracy Reese sequin top 70% off, such a steal! But you're right, it was a flop and my stores had tons of inventory left. I actually overheard a woman look at the racks full of Tracy Reese tops (the very one I purchased) and say loudly "That is the ugliest top I've every seen!" LOL! Didn't stop me from buying it, I think it's beautiful ;-)
#29.1 The Budget Babe on 2013-01-01 21:17 (Reply)
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