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Serious Frustration Over Target's Botched Cynthia Vincent and Eugenia Kim Product Launches

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As accessory nuts, we had been a little excited for this whole Cynthia Vincent and Eugenia Kim for Target thing. Especially after getting such a small taste of the shoe collection from some early stock at an Orange County store, we were impressed with the overall quality of the diffusion line. So at 8am on April 18th, the official launch day, we headed out to see what we could see.
We had heard that the Eugenia Kim hat line had hit the shelves on Friday morning at a Culver City Target and practically sold out by 1:30pm. But we really expected to see some fresh stock on the floor for the official launch date. As soon as we strolled through the doors of the Westfield Culver City Target, we overheard a girl talking on her cell phone in the clothing section, browsing some leftover Liberty of London dresses and lamenting that, not only were there no Eugenia Kim hats and very few shoes, but employees didn't even know what she was talking about and kept insisting that the collection was coming out next week. So she was understandably frustrated.

We headed over to the hat section, giving a quick cursory scan and not seeing anything resembling a Eugenia Kim chappeau. We saw one customer bring an employee over to the shelves, asking whether the hats had already sold out or if they had even been stocked yet at all. The employee seemed clueless, pulling out her wireless stock-checking handheld computer thingie. "Um, can you spell that for me?"

Next, we hit the shoe section, pretty scared of what we were going to find. It wasn't hard to spot the telltale yellow boxes, especially considering the large group of women surrounding them. But the women weren't grabbing for the shoes, they were standing calmly in a circle, swapping stories about how they had been trying to find the collection.

One woman was frustrated about employees not knowing what she was talking about. One woman said that she heard the Target store on Jefferson Blvd had better stock. Another woman interrupted, saying she had just come from there and that they actually had less.

Almost all the women were desperately seeking the brown wedges. All the Westfield store had was black and yellow gladiator flats, the O-ring black heels, and three pairs of printed wedges. "I don't understand it," said one. "If you're going to hype up the collection, advertise it, even put it on the cover of Vogue (?), can't they at least stock it on the launch date?"

Mostly, the ladies were aggravated that the collection had slipped out way before the launch date. "Manhattan Beach put theirs out last week," said one. We chimed in that the Cypress Target put them out two weeks ago, and everyone shot tiny lasers out of their eyes directly at us.

The whole irony of the situation was that there were still plenty of Liberty of London dresses, rain boots, hats, scarves and more stocked throughout the store. You know, that collaboration that was cleaned up and sold out practically two hours into the launch date? "They always restock," said a woman with a sigh. "In two weeks, they'll have all the shoes here in all the sizes." She seemed to feel foolish that she actually expected to find the items advertised on the actual morning of the launch date.

On the one hand, we love finding secret leaks of a collection so that we can buy them early. On the other, it's really frustrating when everything seems to leak out and sell out before the launch date. When a date is advertised as the day the collection will be available, we kind of expect to find the store stocked and ready to go the morning of. Granted, there may be a frenzy of shoppers that snatch them all up in an hour, but at least there was a fighting chance for everyone. Plus that whole truth in advertising thing.

We still have yet to hear of one store that received the brown wedges, printed flats or thongs. Instead of driving over to the WeHo location to stare at another half-empty rack, we turned to twitter. Our faithful followers told us exactly what we expected to hear: That the store barely had any of the shoes in stock, and claimed to never receive the brown wedges, flats or thongs. One girl claimed to have nearly been shanked with a shower rod by a frenzied shopper on her trip (um, yikes). The only Eugenia Kim hat to be found was located in the Eagle Rock Target.

We do have one positive thing to say about the whole experience: The shoes are really comfortable. The cushioned footbeds make them a dream to walk on. So if you can actually get your hands on a pair in your size (there are still some on the website, plus plenty going for double the price on Ebay), we say it's worth the $25 to $30.
· Cynthia Vincent for Target [Official Site]
· Spotted! Cynthia Vincent for Target Shoes, at Target in OC [previously]