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Designer collaborations: Real team players

Designers partner with retailers.

January 18, 2013|By Ingrid Schmidt | Special to the Los Angeles Times

It has been more than a decade since Target launched its first designer collaboration, sparking a seemingly endless number of imitators. The pairings lure customers with the promise of designer looks at mass market prices, while the designers and retailers leverage the power of two brand names into often lucrative business endeavors.

And although a few of last year's efforts fell a bit flat — Neiman Marcus and Target's highly touted holiday collection went on mark-down after only three weeks, for instance — pairings are still going strong. Here are some of the most alluring style collaborations planned in the first half of this year.

Prabal Gurung and Sam & Libby for Target

Next in line to design a limited-edition collection for Target is New York-based designer Prabal Gurung, who counts Jennifer Lawrence, Rooney Mara, First Lady Michelle Obama and the Duchess of Cambridge among his star fans. Known for polished, ladylike styles with standout colors and prints, Gurung's collection of 90-plus pieces for Target will include apparel, shoes, handbags and jewelry, starting at $12.99. Scheduled to launching on Feb. 10, just in time for Valentine's Day, the looks were inspired by the idea of "a tender love story" and include "First Date" and "Meet the Parents" prints. On May 5, Target plans to relaunch footwear label Sam & Libby, created by Sam and Libby Edelman in 1987, in an exclusive, ongoing collaboration. Twenty styles in the initial collection range include flats, wedges and pumps, starting at $24.99. Available at all Target stores and

Duro Olowu, Nanette Lepore, Marchesa and more for J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney plans a multitude of exclusive designer collections this season. Among the debuts are a range of evening gowns, suits and cocktail attire called Pearl by Georgina Chapman of Marchesa, launching on Feb. 22, and a junior line dubbed L'Amour by Nanette Lepore that hits stores on Feb. 1. Possibly the most anticipated is the department store chain's partnership with London-based fashion designer Duro Olowu, whose signature is a mix of vibrant, graphic prints inspired by his homeland of Nigeria. While the designer is still making a name in the United States, First Lady Michelle Obama has been wearing Olowu's dresses, jackets and tops since 2011. Designs include apparel, fashion accessories (handbags, jewelry, a suitcase and shoes), and home décor (vases and dhurrie rugs). Launching in stores on March 1, everything in the Olowu line is under $100. J.C.Penney's home department will also introduce MarthaHome stores by Martha Stewart and unique shops by Jonathan Adler, Michael Graves and Terrence Conran in May. At select JCPenney stores and

Derek Lam for DesigNation at Kohl's

New York-based fashion designer Derek Lam, who has designed for eBay and luxury Italian leather goods house Tod's, follows Narciso Rodriguez, as the second designer to participate in Kohl's DesigNation series. The department store chain's ongoing designer partnership features collections inspired by specific global destinations. Lam's city of choice? Rio de Janeiro. Influenced by the patterns and saturated colors of the Brazilian city, Lam's capsule line features relaxed-yet-sophisticated apparel and swimwear that can transition from beach to street, pool to party. Priced from $36 to $98, the pieces are to debut in April at Kohl's stores and

AG Stylist Series; AG x Liberty London

Local denim brand AG Adriano Goldschmied debuts its AG Stylist Series Jan. 30 starting with a 14-piece denim line by Los Angeles celebrity stylist Cher Coulter, whose clients include Elizabeth Olsen, Nicole Richie, Sienna Miller and Kate Bosworth. Starting at $200, Coulter's line for AG features shorts, jeans, vests, jackets and skirts in graphic and foil prints, with laser-cut detailing or embellishment. More yet-to-be-announced tastemakers will be featured in the ongoing AG Stylist Series. In February the denim brand will also unveil a capsule line in partnership with British heritage brand, Liberty London. The 15-item collection will showcase three iconic Liberty floral prints on denim in three favorite AG washes. Silhouettes include legging jeans, denim shorts, a chambray shirt and shirtdress, a romper and a fringed scarf. All fabrics are made and printed in Italy; pieces are priced from $198-$275. Available at the brand's store on North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, and Scoop stores.

Nine West x Kirna Zabête

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