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William Rast takes aim at hipsters at Target

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NEW YORK » Now that the highly organized, sale-hungry holiday shoppers have come and gone, the crowd roaming the aisles at Target is largely made up of hip teenagers and 20-somethings padded with gift cards, looking for something cool to wear out that very night.

That’s where the new collaborative collection from William Rast — aka Justin Timberlake’s fashion label — fits in.

Denim and leather jackets traditionally sell well in the December-January time frame, says Trish Adams, senior vice president of apparel and accessories, and that put William Rast at the top of the retailer’s list for a limited-edition program.

For William Rast, Target brings exposure to a wider audience, including some people who have no idea what to expect — and that’s appealing, explains co-founder Trace Ayala, Timberlake’s childhood friend and design partner.

"For us, at the end of the day, when a company like Target comes to you, and you’re a brand like ours in an economy like it is, it’s a no-brainer," Ayala says.

The look of this line is 100 percent the bohemian American traveler, the same DNA as the more upscale collection, he says.

Yes, you might notice a difference in construction, but you’ll also notice the price tag, which has women’s faux-leather shorts for $39.99 and men’s jeans with oil stains for $49.99.

Men’s likely interest in the brand was a key part of the deal, says Target’s Adams. "We really wanted to find something that could sell across genders — that’s something hard to find."

 

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