Look 1Tour Eiffel embroidered dress $78.00

Look 1Tour Eiffel embroidered dress $78.00

When I first heard of Catherine Malandrino collaborating with Kohl’s I was intrigued but skeptical about what the goods might look like, but I should not have worried. Since glimpsing the grainy pictures of Malandrino celebrating the collection on her facebook page in mid-May I have been enamoured of almost every look. Here I offer my pros and cons for the collection and how Kohl’s collaborations stack up.

Characteristic of many designer collaborations, Kohl’s seems to have leaked the lookbook online well ahead of time. 

Pro: This gives consumers the opportunity to plan for their purchases. If there is no lookbook leak, potential customers might spend their money on other things in the back to school melée of September and miss out on the collection altogether.

Con: The collection will only be available in September so consumers might get tired of seeing these looks; When the merchandise becomes available it will already seems old-hat.

Pro: Usually the company keeps a few items under wraps to reveal during the marketing launch and then again when the items become available on line and in-store. The on-line exclusives or in-store exclusives also provide fresh un-seen items for consumers to get excited about.

Jacquard pullover sweater $68.00, Sweater skirt $50.00

Jacquard pullover sweater $68.00, Sweater skirt $50.00

The lookbook PDF makes it possible to view the projected price of each item.

Pro: I know exactly how much money to set aside for each item that I can’t live without.

Con: The prices appear to be higher than those of the previous Derek Lam and Narciso Rodriguez DesigNation collaborations.

Pro: Kohl’s usually offers a sizable discount within the first few days of the sale. They have done this with both previous designer collaborations.

The looks are all in black and white save for one navy jumpsuit. 

Con: The subdued color palette will not pop off the page as much and may not excite consumers in a visceral way.

Pro: The all black items will become timeless basics in your closet. You will never get rid of them.

Pro/Con: They are nondescript and people will not be able to recognize where they are from.

Pro: The printed items will serve as novelty items and be more readily recognizable. They are not tacky so you won’t get rid of those either.

Con: I don’t think consumers will discard these items easily so I’m not sure if they will be available on ebay as much as other more print-laden collections.

Look 2: Patent leather trench coat $130.00, Pleated skirt $50.00

Look 2: Patent leather trench coat $130.00, Pleated skirt $50.00

The collection includes three outerwear pieces.

Pro: There are two leather jackets and one sweater/jacket type of situation.

Con: They’re probably not that warm so depending where you live they might not be worth it.

Pro: But they’re black so you can wear them season after season without their being too specific to fall 2013.

The lookbook seems to have some cool accessories.

Pro: There are two iterations of the beret, one all black, the other black and white. The tights look amazing! There’s also a scarf in one of the looks but you can’t see any details.

Con: The previous DesigNation collaborations didn’t have any accessories in their collections, so this one may not either.

Pro: Producing tights, leggings, a few berets and a scarf doesn’t seem too hard. Given they are in black or black and white they are salable to more than collaboration fiends.

Conclusion: The items from the Kohl’s designer collaborations are usually well made and well stocked. So far none of the collaborations have sold-out in the first few days so consumers will get the chance to own a piece of this collection even if they take their time.

The looks in the Catherine Malandrino line are decidedly sophisticated and I can imagine a lot of women could wear these pieces. With only three items under $50.00, (the collection’s price point is much higher than target’s collaboration prices) I worry that prices might be too high for the average consumer to buy into.

Kohl’s only ships to the United States, it is one of their biggest weaknesses.