Why is Barney’s selling Target’s Rogan Line this weekend?

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Rogan Gregory gets his fame for designing fabulous jeans that fit like a dream, that are also eco-friendly. The fashion community is in an uproar now about Barney’s selling Rogans upcoming line for Target’s Go International line this weekend. The line is set to hit Target stores May 15th. Rogan is a former GAP designer, who also has other labels such as Edun, run with Bono’s wife, Ali Hewson; Loomstate – an all organic line of shirts and denim; and his own line – Rogan. You can find a sneak peek at what some of the Go International pieces for Target will look like here.

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From Friday through Sunday, you can buy Rogan’s collection for Target at Barneys before it goes on sale at Target. Budget shoppers might rejoice at the prospect of being able to afford merchandise at Barneys. But the partnership has created a spell of befuddlement among retail experts who just don’t understand why Barneys wants to confuse its customers by selling cheapie stuff. Barneys currently offers Rogan’s regular line, which includes $230 pants and $320 dresses. “When you have $29 jeans and $250 jeans from the same designer, consumers will start to ask, ‘Is that fabric really worth ten times more than the other fabric?'” one expert said. Call us crazy, but we really doubt the typical Barneys shopper will see cheap clothing in their fancy terrain and regret purchasing all those other designer pieces. Assuming they never had really bad taste, that is.

So why is Barneys doing it? First, the store’s fashion director, Julie Gilhart, wanted more ecofriendly products, like Rogan’s Target line, in the store and was reportedly instrumental in getting Rogan’s Target line off the ground. Considering she’s so passionate about it, why shouldn’t she have the line she helped create in her stomping grounds just because it’s inexpensive? Second, many blog posts like this one will be written about this weekend’s event. (Not to mention we just read a six-page article about it in WWD.) You know what that is, retail experts? It’s called buzz, and it’s ringing off the chain for Barneys right now.

So try not to worry so much about this stuff next time. It’s bad for the skin.

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What do you think about Barney’s carrying Rogan’s Target line? It begs the question, if Rogan can design the same great fitting jeans for $29, that normally sell for $250 at Barneys – do designer jeans really cost designers that much to make, or are we all getting ripped off when we pay higher prices because we believe it means higher quality?

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