Not every Target collaboration is an instant hit, but fashion insiders expect the new Rowing Blazers collection to ignite a buying frenzy.
In part, it’s because the Rowing Blazers brand has been riding high on the world’s latest fascination with twists on the seemingly indestructible preppy aesthetic. But it’s also due to the brand’s steady cooperative reinvention, fueled by partnerships that have ranged from Gucci, the Grateful Dead, Babar the Elephant and Sonic the Hedgehog.
The collection, with more than 100 pieces, goes beyond clothes (like the $75 peacoat or $60 blazers.) It’s also got plenty of playful items that both spoof and honor the preppy gestalt, such as an $80 skateboard or $40 ice bucket festooned with faux Greek runners.
The whole shebang almost looks like it could have come from a dormitory or rowing club at Oxford (where founder Jack Carlson got his start, tailoring club blazers.)
Still, the brand's colorful styles build on the inclusive energy that has made it a favorite with trendsetters as diverse as rapper A$AP Rocky, NBA great Dwyane Wade and actor Chloë Sevigny.
“This is going to be the first introduction to the brand for so many people, and so I wanted this collection to be quintessential Rowing Blazers,” Carlson said in a recent interview with Glamour. “It’s not watered down or anything different from how I approach our main collections.”
Fast Company reports that the brand, launched in 2017, had revenues of $14.3 million in 2022.
Target’s collaborations have helped power the retailer’s cooler-than-Walmart image for decades, including housewares from Michael Graves and collections from Lilly Pulitzer and Missoni so popular they crashed Target’s website and ignited bidding wars on eBay.
Target could use a hit. In results released last month, the company posted a 5.4% decline in quarterly sales, driven by weak demand for discretionary items, including apparel.