Inside Target's Colorful Spring Launches for Lilly Pulitzer and Todd Oldham

The retailer marked its latest collaborations by hosting two separate events in New York, held within a week of each other.

By Jim Shi May 7, 2015, 1:50 PM EDT

Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Target

Target's Hand Made Modern Launch Lilly Pulitzer for Target Launch
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Playing up springtime colors and the casual fun of summer, Target hosted not one, but two product launches in Manhattan in April. Held just one week apart, the events for Hand Made Modern and Lilly Pulitzer for Target were marked by bright color palettes and a sense of whimsy, but the Minneapolis-based retailer still managed to give each affair a distinct feel appropriate for the guests in attendance.

On April 9 at the Target Gallery in west Chelsea, the retailer, along with designer Todd Oldham, hosted the launch of Hand Made Modern—D.I.Y. kits and arts and crafts supplies aimed squarely at the family. Produced by ExtraExtra, the event brought D.I.Y. bloggers and editors to a setting where the decor was festive without being over the top. The all-white space was transformed relatively easily using products from the collection: paper flower kits, assorted paints and yarn, and larger-than-life displays like string kit decorations in the shape of the iconic Target bull's-eye.

The D.I.Y. theme of the night carried over to the bars, where guests could build their own mocktail or cocktail while being among the first to test out the Hand Made Modern merchandise. The crafty feel of the event was intended to appeal to a wide range of ages—with the products able to appease to both groups of young professionals and families looking to bring their D.I.Y. style ideas to fruition.

Less than a week later, on April 15, Target hosted a significantly more ambitious event—and with much aplomb. To herald the arrival of its highly anticipated collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer, Target, with the help of longtime production partner David Stark, turned the Bryant Park Grill into a veritable land of Lilly—complete with playful and fanciful bar setups, a feminine pop-up shop (no men’s merchandise is contained in the collection), and models dressed as Lilly characters.

“A key factor was its high-traffic, high-visibility location, which guaranteed we would be able to reach thousands of New Yorkers in the heart of the city,” said Stark. “We were also drawn to the park’s gorgeous fountain and architecture, which is evocative of the iconic fountain at the Breakers resort in Palm Beach, a signature Lilly Pulitzer muse.”

Unlike the Hand Made Modern event, the invite-only launch for the Lilly Pulitzer collection drew celebrity fans, like Emmy Rossum, Ellie Kemper, Bella Thorne, and Camila Alves, who mingled with the crowd gathered under the pink-and-white striped tent.

The next day, for the one-day consumer activation, also held at the Bryant Park Grill, Stark took advantage of his surroundings and expanded the Lilly Pulitzer theme. The resulting “Lilly Resort” he devised featured everything from manicure stations using Essie nail polishes from the collection to a citrus-theme juice bar and branded ping-pong tables.

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