Anthropologie Jumps on the Bandwagon and Unveils Its Latest Designer Collaboration Today

STORY BY Jessica Elizabeth Pawlarczyk

Published: May 17, 2013

Target and Isaac Mizra. H&M and Donatella. Kohl’s and Vera Wang.

Today, a new superstore-designer collaboration will join the ranks of these dynamic duos, and fashionistas everywhere have marked their calendars with today’s important date.

Just what designer collab am I talking about? None other than Anthropolgie and its Peter Som collection.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Som, he is an A-list American designer who apprenticed with the likes of Michael Kors and Calvin Klein. Som’s celebrity clientele include Scarlett Johansson, Claire Danes, Mandy Moore, Ginnifer Goodwin, and many more.

Known for his elegant and architecturally influenced designs, Som has created an amazing 11-piece line for Anthro that is full of playful prints. A majority of these prints are floral-based, making them the perfect addition to every woman’s summer wardrobe!

From flowing maxis to ruffled pencil dresses, the line offers a variety of styles for those who want the designer label for less; prices range from $128- $368.

Although Som’s upcoming partnership with Anthropolgie is generating some big hype at the moment, it is actually not the store’s first designer collaboration. Through the Made in Kind project, Anthro has already produced limited edition collections designed by Timo Weiland, Karen Walker, and Dusen Dusen.

Like all designer junkies, I can’t help but browse through the upcoming collection online, already making my purchasing plans so that I can run through the store’s doors and snatch up the styles I want. (You can see the Peter Soms-Anthropologie lookbook here).

Call me crazy, but after experiencing the whole Prabal Gurung for Target ordeal, I’m preparing myself for like-minded, feisty fashionistas who are willing to show up hours early on a collaborating designer’s opening day.

As I closely inspect each of Som’s dresses and prepare myself for the pending credit card bill, however, I can’t help but wonder if I’m being duped.

Sure, it’s an “amazing” opportunity to get my hands on a Som masterpiece, but when it comes down to it, am I really getting a good deal?  Obviously the reduced price is a huge perk, but one can only ask herself why there is a reduced price in the first place. Chances are, a lower price means a lower quality.

Thinking back to Prabal Gurung for Target again, I remember the media’s promise that Target customers were in for a too-good-to-be-true deal: High-quality designer clothing for an unbelievably low price.

From personal experience, I’d say that Prabal’s line was right on trend with Target’s overall clothing quality, despite its non-Target pricing. Case in point: That overly-priced floral tank had stitching snags that I discovered only once bringing it home. My guess is that a genuine tank from Prabal’s private line would never have such weak stitching; obviously, a designer’s quest for perfection is heightened when only his name appears on the product label. In the case for Prabal Gurung for Target, you’ll notice that two names share responsibility for insuring each product’s topnotch quality.  Fortunately for Prabal, unimpressed customers are more likely to place blame on Target since Prabal has already established a sterling silver reputation in the fashion world.

Upon such reflection, shoppers like me are still faced with a dilemma: Should they shop Som’s Anthro line and sacrifice the designer’s impeccable construction quality for a hard-to-beat price?

Ultimately, the choice lies in each shopper’s hands… But for me, I’m willing to take the designer collaboration risk in this case, as Anthropologie has proved itself as a consistently high-quality store (unlike Target.) Sure, I’ll be shelling out more cash on a Som dress than your typical Anthro brand dress, but like many others, I’ve embraced the romanticized belief that the designer collab industry has created: I need this designer piece of clothing at so-and-so clothing store because I am never going to get the chance to pay such a low price ever again! I’m a fashion fool if I don’t take advantage of this deal now!

Perhaps the only “fashion fools” however, are people like me that do take “advantage” of collaborations like Peter Som at Anthropologie…. Because chances are I might buy three discounted Som dresses that unravel within a year, when in reality, I could have bought a single genuine Som dress for the same price.

I suppose only time will tell, because soon enough I will have one of Som’s Anthro dresses in hand, crossing my fingers that the stitching will stick. 

Other Stories by Jessica Elizabeth Pawlarczyk
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