Tuesday, December 4, 2012

More reviews of Neiman Marcus + Target Collaboration: Are you getting a good deal?

Like for any designer collaborations, I want to make sure I'm actually getting a significant price reduction from the said designers not just whole bunch badly made stuff with designers' names on them.  While Neiman Marcus and Target collaboration items are hard to do apple to apple comparison since quite a few designers went out of their way to design something they normally don't design, there are still a few of them who did what they are good at.  Let the comparisons begin!

Thom Browne men's jacket.  TB is know of his flood pants silhouette expose ankles and short sports jacket that doesn't cover the whole backside.  Naturally it's impossible to find the exact same product he did for his main line vs. the NM+T collaboration, but here is a close comparison in terms of the cut of the jacket.

The left one is from Ssense.  It's a beautiful cotton velvet sports jacket in charcoal color made in Japan.  It's also priced accordingly at $1900 (which is a typical Thom Browne jacket price range).  Comparing this jacket to NM+T jacket which is made of wool in Vietnam at $150.  I'm happy to say that Thom Browne didn't skim on interior lining of this NM+T jacket; it looks exactly the same as the ones from his eponymous brand.  While I would definitely agree that the jacket from Ssense looks more luxurious than the one from NM+T, but I would still give this collaboration jacket a thumbs up for the cut, price, and quality of the product.

Marc Jacobs scarf.  Marc Jacobs need no introduction so I'll get right down to business.  I searched high and low and couldn't find anything close to his design for NM+T so I feel it's a bit like comparing apples and oranges; cost of a scarf depends on where it is made, size, and fabric (which I feel is the biggest factor when comparing scarves).  Most of the stuff I found was either made of modal, or combination of cotton and silk.

The right one is from Nordstrom , priced at $178, is Marc by Marc Jacobs NOT Marc Jacobs.   Most of similar size and feel of Marc Jacobs or Marc for Marc Jacobs scarves run around $120-$240 and as you know NM+T one is $70.  While Nordstrom one has a very different design, but the fabric (100% wool vs. 90% wool + 10% cashmere), size, and where they are both made (China) feels like a decent comparison.  I do like the black with some shimmer fabric from NM+T because it's a nice basic scarf that will last you for years and the silver thread do add a touch of glamor.  But Marc Jacobs scarf doesn't feel it is as good of a deal as the Thom Browne jacket in my opinion.  I think if you lack a nice basic black scarf, definitely get it.  If you already have similar color and weight scarf, then I don't think it's great enough of a deal to go out and grab it because chances are you can get something after Christmas on sale from MJ with a slightly higher price point but with pattern of your own choosing.  

Judith Lieber compact.  Judith Lieber is known for her minaudieres (a substitute for an evening bag that is often just big enough to carry a lipstick, makeup compact, keys, money) which is basically crystal clutch in a shape of anything you can think of: cupcake, dog, snake, fan, cat bear, etc. etc.  Pretty much any shape you can think of she probably had made it into a minaudieres.  These fanciful objects also come with fanciful price tags ($5000+).  Luckily for comparison shopping, we have something close to apple to apple.

The left one is from Neiman Marcus.  As you can see besides the pattern of the crystal and the tone of the metal, it is essentially the same thing.  The Neiman Marcus one retails for $225 although now it is on sale for  $150.  The NM+T one is $60.  Let's just say when Neiman Marcus mark the left one to half price which makes it $112.50, the NM+T one is still only cost close to half of that.  I say it is a great deal!  If you are looking for a glamorous compact mirror, you can't go wrong with Judith Lieber and at close to 25% of typical selling price, it's a no brainer.    

Rag & Bone cardigan.  Rag & Bone is known for its denim.  In fact, the company, founded by Wainwright and Neville, started as a denim company.  They produced full men's collection in 2005 and by 2006, women's collection was introduced.  In 2010, they won CFDA Men’s Wear Designer of the Year award. 

The right one is from Barney's New York priced at $450.  No doubt many of you recognize that the left one is from NM+T priced at $70.  A typical price point for R&B sweater is about $250-$350.  The cut is different for sure.  One is more cardigan like and the other one is more of a knit sports coat which is so popular these days.  But I would say the feel of both sweater is quite similar.  The NM+T is made of cotton and wool while Barney's R&B sweater is made of wool and linen.  Both are made in China.  Overall I would say I think we have another winner here for NM+T collaboration!   

Robert Rodriguez lace dress.  In 2003, Robert co-founded his namesake label Robert Rodriguez.  His style, influenced by Dior, is sophisticated, feminine, and sexy.  Starlets who have seen wearing his clothes are who's who of Hollywood: Jolie, Kidman, Longoria, Johansson, etc.

The left one, for $100 is from NM+T and the right one can be found at Saks for $395.  Obviously the silhouette is quite different but the fabric looks very similar if not the same.  Composition of the fabric is quite similar with NM+T 50/50 nylon and cotton while the Saks version is 60/40 nylon and cotton.  NM+T priced theirs for about 25% of the none collaboration dress which is amazing since even with 60% off markdowns that Saks does sometimes, it is still more costly than NM+T's.  I say it's a very good deal.

Lastly, I'm doing a holiday raffle!  I'm giving away a brand new set of NM+T Tracy Reese plates!  Not only are they luxurious (18k gold trim around the edges), they are also practical too (dishwasher safe)!  They are great for the holiday parties or as a holiday gift.  Here are the rules for the raffle:

1. Become a member for this site.  Click on Join this site button on the right margin (see pic)
and choose to join this site via your gmail account, yahoo, AIM, etc. You MUST choose to follow publicly as I can't see you and put you on the raffle if you choose to follow privately.  Then go to your gmail, yahoo, AIM, etc account and click on the link to confirm that you follow this blog.  That's it.  It's very simple.  You should see your name in a little square under Members.

2. Click like for my website on facebook: Kevin Hsu Studios Inc.

3. In the comment section, type in your email so I can contact you when you win.

Best of luck and winner will be picked, using random.org list randomizer, and contacted on December 12, 2012.  Please note apologies to my international friends - I wish I could extend these giveaways to you but legal restrictions prevent it. Thanks for understanding. 


  1. Thanks for the detailed comparisons! It helps to know this when deciding whether an item is worth it. I'm still on the fence about the MJ scarf. I saw it in person and as much as I loved it, I just can't spend anymore for myself. There were plenty of the scarves left at my local Target, so I was thinking if it's meant to be, it'll still be there after the holiday.

  2. Ann, I have a feeling that the MJ scarf may go on sale on Dec 26 for a day for 10% off! LOL. We shall see. I think Target corporate wants everyone to believe nothing will go on sale for this collection and I guess only time will tell if that's true or not. In the mean time, if you buy through Ebates, you can get 2% cash back and if you add that on top of 5% cash back with Red Card from Target, you may find yourself save at least the sales tax.

  3. Thanks for this Kevin. So far had only chosen the Rodriguez dress and the DVF jewelry box...but now will grab a Lieber mirror too!!