William Rast is the latest designer label to board the Target train, with a capsule collection that hit stores just in time for the holidays.
Unlike most of Target’s high-low partnerships, which have relatively little (if anything) to offer the fashion-forward male, this one has just as much to offer the guys as it does the girls. The selections include T-shirts, button-front shirts and hoodies for him; skirts, faux-leather shorts, jeggings and embellished loose-fitting tank tops for her; and a range of five-pocket denim and outerwear pieces for both.
The William Rast for Target collection is priced from $16.99 for a tank T-shirt to $199.99 for a fringed leather jacket (compared with $50 to $700 for the core William Rast line). It’s slated to be sold in select Target stores and on the retailer’s website through Jan. 22.
Even if you aren’t familiar with the name William Rast, based in Los Angeles, you’ve probably heard of one of its co-founders: singer-actor Justin Timberlake. The pop star launched the denim-heavy line in 2005 with Trace Ayala, a childhood friend with whom he grew up in Millington, Tenn. (“William” is the first name of Timberlake’s grandfather, and “Rast” is the last name of Ayala’s.) The line drew much of its nostalgic Americana aesthetic from the shared childhood experience.
Over the last five years, William Rast proper, which sells through high-end boutiques and department stores, has slowly grown, both in offerings and in footprint, opening a handful of standalone stores. The founders also recruited the high-power fashion design duo of Johan and Marcella Lindeberg.
Although it’s evolved since, the line today still hews to those early influences, keying into assorted frontier, biker, military and wandering-free-spirit influences from season to season. It’s a vibe that definitely translates to the new Target collection as well _ although it’s been distilled even further to “biker/rebel” basics (for him) and “bohemian/tomboy” staples (for her).
Noteworthy pieces on the men’s side include heavy military-inspired twill shirts perfect for layering and deliberately pre-wrinkled plaid shirts with Western-style snap buttons (each $34.99). Standouts among the women’s wardrobe choices are stretchy black embellished skirts that manage to be sexy but not trashy ($34.99) and woven silk blouses ($34.99).
The buttery leather outerwear pieces for both are surprisingly supple, and the women’s black leather jacket with epaulets at the shoulder and fringe along the front of the yoke looks and feels worth a lot more than its $199.99 price tag indicates.
The range of five-pocket denim offerings is simple and straightforward, with straight-leg, skinny and boot-cut styles and with patching, abrading and oil-staining treatments. If you happen to be familiar with the William Rast brand’s deep roots in premium denim, the assortment offered here might feel less than compelling _ until you take the $49.99 price into account.