By Anna Sekula Posted September 10, 2009, 2:39 PM EDT
Like Sex and the City before it, Gossip Girl's role in the cultural zeitgeist influences a number of industries, from fashion and design to social networking and marketing. So it seems almost natural that the latest designer to partner with Target named the popular TV show as a major inspiration. The Anna Sui for Target line draws directly from the style of four of the Gossip Girl characters—Serena van der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, Jenny Humphrey, and Vanessa Abrams—and last night, one step ahead of “Fashion's Night Out,” the mass retailer launched its temporary store selling the tops, dresses, coats, pants, and skirts.
Taking over a private SoHo townhouse, which last month served as the headquarters for the New York International Fringe Festival, Target turned four floors into a highly stylized environment that reflected Sui's eclectic bohemian sensibility. Packed with racks of merchandise, a line of registers, hundreds of props and, of course, lots of branding, the pop-up opened to the public this morning and will run for three days. The collection hits stores the following day, Sunday, September 13, the day before the season premiere of Gossip Girl.
Less roomy than the warehouse used for the Alexander McQueen pop-up in February, the hallways, stairs, and tiny rooms of 54 Crosby Street were outfitted with hundreds of household items and furniture, all with a purple and black color palette. The basement stored freestanding clothing racks, closets, and trunks amid furniture covered in dustcovers, old paint cans, boxes stuffed with crumpled newspaper, and mannequin parts. Upstairs, the setting was more comfortable, bedecked with custom wallpaper, ornate chandeliers, antique mirrors, and stuffed peacocks. As an added visual, producer David Stark created vignettes by placing models throughout the store.
For the V.I.P. shopping preview last night, Creative Edge provided a number of nibbles and drinks, including miniature B.L.T.s with prosciutto and arugula, yellowtail ceviche in anise seed cones, and crystallized ginger snaps with cheesecake centers. Although guests had to pay for the clothes they wanted, Target gave out Anna Sui's fragrance Rock Me!
Sui's collaboration with the retailer will also include tote bags: Nine Times Square billboards currently display commissioned graphics for Target, and when they come down on November 1, the designer will recycle the vinyl used for the enormous ads to craft 1,600 bags.