Shop the Hottest Designer Collaborations of All Time

It seems like when our favorites designers release collaborations, the good stuff is swooped up within hours. Everyone wants a piece, and rightfully so — when else are you gonna get a piece of fashion history for pennies on the usual dollar? For all the shoes and jackets we couldn’t buy then, we’ll forever have reverse buyer’s remorse… which is why we’re on a mission to find it all again now. Lucky you.

 

Alexander Wang x H&M

The Alexander Wang x H&M collaboration was one of the most hyped we’ve seen — and totally worth it. City-ready athletic wear you can and will want to wear out at night? Hell yeah, that scuba dress is perfection! Didn’t we see Rihanna in that sports bra? And come fall, you won’t want to be without that cool parka.

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JW Anderson x TOPSHOP

Designer JW Anderson’s stock has risen since this TOPSHOP collab came out in 2013. Now he’s helming Loewe, too, and the fashion world can’t get enough. That’s why this back-to-school argyle skirt and cool leather boots are must-haves. We’re scooping them up if you don’t.

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+J (Jil Sander x UNIQLO)

+J was perfect while it lasted. (We still mourn the loss.) Jil Sander’s then-ongoing collaboration with UNIQLO was everything we wanted for staples in our closet — especially the jackets.

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Missoni for Target

Legit you can’t tell the difference — might as well be real deal, main line Missoni. And this is the perfect dress for summer.

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Maison Martin Margiela x H&M

For its H&M collab, Margiela pulled out the archives and remade the highlights. These Perspex-heeled boots are quintessentially Margiela. You could wear them forever.

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Adidas x Kanye West

These Yeezy kicks are HOT. They might defy that pennies on the dollar rule, but can you put a price on love?

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Raf Simons x Adidas Stan Smiths

Here we have a classic, slightly retooled by one of the chicest designers in the world.

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Marques’Almeida x H&M

Don’t you love it when the collaboration looks just like the designer stuff? The high rise ripped jeans are a staple from May to September (but you could break the rules and wear ‘em whenever). The fray on the denim jacket makes it Marques’Almeida and unique.

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Isabel Marant x H&M

A critically lauded collection full of must-haves. We’re particularly partial to the wear-anywhere chiffon dress and über-chic tuxedo jacket.

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Marni x H&M

Marni is art-mom-chic in the best possible way, and this patent leather jacket and knit has us feeling creative.

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Shop all of these looks in our curated collection on ebay.

 

Our 6 Fave Moments from #NYFW Day 1: Normcore Shoes, Babies, and Food

via @zanabayne on Instagram

Today marked the official first day of NYFW (although ask industry folk and they will surely tell you it doesn’t feel that way!) Traffic is insane, heels are on (for some unknown reason), and we thought for a moment that #NYFW broke Instagram this evening, though it might have been our collective imaginations. There’s so much to be seen; it’s an overwhelming but fabulous sensory experience.

Sara: Since we’re at different shows and didn’t get to see each other all day, we’re gonna catch up right here, right now.

(P.S. you can follow us through #NYFW on Instagram at @alyssashapiro and @sarajanenyc. And of course, @blackbookmag.)

Alyssa: Forget what you said about heels. I’m sticking to flats this season. Starting off on the right foot, baby. But yes, #NYFW definitely did break Instagram for a minute.

Sara: I wore flat sandals today and while I resented feeling underdressed at times, I was also like “dudes, are you watching the runways?” because it’s allllll about flats.

Alyssa: So true. I’ve seen a few heels, but from the Chinatown sandals and normcore white sneakers at Sandy Liang to the dressed-up flat sandals at Chadwick Bell, I have no qualms about throwing on some AF1s this week. And I’m sure my chiropractor is thrilled.

Sara: Chiropractor shoutout! Okay, let’s jump right in. My fave moment of the whole day: Michael Maccari showed his first collection for Perry Ellis–a parade of strikingly beautiful #VERYPERRY guys in tailored pastels and graphic patterns “inspired by the lines and grids of the city. But the highlight was absolutely when Maccari came out to a huge round of applause, walked down the runway and gave his mum a big hug and kiss! Strangely, I’m not sure everyone else found this quite as amazing as I did and so on my way out I said “congratulations,” to this very smiley woman I do not know, and she took my hand (!) to thank me and then we chatted about how proud of her she was. Heartwarming fashion moment — check!

Alyssa: I love family moments. Today at Zana Bayne, the finale look featured a baby. Yup, the model teetered out in some big gal shoes (ok so not everyone is doing flats) carrying perhaps the chillest baby ever, given all the lights and people and that he didn’t cry once. Actually, about halfway through his turn on the catwalk, he gave a wave. And every single person at Milk Studios cooed, “awwww!” at the same time. Proof that we are all a little baby crazy.

Sara: I would have died. I have a real problem with how much I love babies. I’m that person like “ooh-ing” on the sidewalk.

Alyssa: You have no idea.

Sara: Oh, another fun surprise: I thought they only existed in myths but alas! Creatures of Comfort provided showgoers with little goody bags containing nail polish, hair spray, and much-needed granola bars. Honestly, I don’t think anyone even cared about the nail polish though. I literally nibbled on a bite sized Larabar like it was Manna from heaven. Feeding the tired and often malnourished editors as they jet from show to show is always a win!

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Alyssa: I can’t tell you how much I ate at the Gareth Pugh presentation after not having a proper meal today. I actually staked out in front of where the cater waiters entered and basically stole all the food.

Sara: Food is the way to my heart. Enough of these pin-sized appetizers on toothpicks, I’m ready for a presentation with straight up sandwiches. Oh, and I wouldn’t mind foot massages!

Before we hit the hay (if that happens) will you catch me up on ALTUZARRA FOR TARGET? #FOMO

Alyssa: Haha. No sleep for the wicked. The funhouse situation was pretty cool. I haven’t had any champagne yet this week but it sure felt like I had once I stepped inside. I didn’t brave the boutique set up in the party, but I’m looking forward to shopping the collection when it hits Net-a-Porter and Target stores on September 14.

And that brings my #selfie count to 1 so far this NYFW. Until tomorrow, dear readers! And you, too, Sara.

Sara: Night <3

Target to Sell Extremely Expensive ‘Hunger Games’ Memorabilia

There are certainly some diehard fans of The Hunger Games out there, but are they rich? If so, then they will be pleased to learn that Target is set to begin rolling out a three-piece collection of high-end memorabilia at midnight on August 18th—the same day as the DVD release. The limited-edition range includes the film’s lithograph signed by Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, a replica of Katniss Everdeen’s hunting jacket and a 14-carat gold version of the notorious Mockingjay pin. Hold onto your wallets and check out all the pricing after the jump. 

The Examiner reveals that the lithograph (available Aug 18) is $699, Katniss’ leather jacket (available Aug 19) is $349 and the decadent replica of the Mockingjay pin (available Aug 20) is a whopping $999. Or you can just buy a cheapo version of it for less that $10 on eBay. Whatever floats your boat.

Examiner also notes that only 100 pieces of each item will be available on Target.com, so make sure your WiFi connection is fast and steady at midnight on each keepsake’s release date.

If you’re more of a frugal Hunger Games fan and don’t mind shopping in the children’s section (you could say it’s a "gift for your kid sister"), Target will also be releasing back-to-school items (backpacks, jewelry, lunch boxes, pillow cases) all under $40.

Target, Neiman’s & CFDA Join Forces for Groundbreaking Collab

Shit just got real in the designer collaboration world: Luxury retail chain Neiman Marcus and the fast-fashion giants over at Target have teamed up to work with a whopping 24 CFDA designers on an exclusive holiday collection that will be available in both Neiman’s and Target stores. Designers in the mix include Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs, Rodarte, Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu, Oscar de la Renta and a boatload of other hot-ticket sartorial talents. 

As revealed in a thorough breakdown by WWD, the collection will include "more than 50 limited-edition gifts in men’s, women’s, children’s apparel and accessories, as well as other categories that some of the designers are getting into for the first time, such as sporting goods, home decor, pet accessories and accessories for electronics." Prices are expected to range from $7.99 to $499.99, but will average under the $60 mark. Each designer will produce between one and three items.

This partnership is a sharp move for both parties. Neiman’s solid relationships with luxury brands helped reel in interest and Target’s ability to produce high-quality capsule merch on a grand scale will get these products delivered to consumers in record time. As a thank you to the CFDA for offering their members’ work, WWD also notes that Neiman’s and Target are donating a total of one million dollars to the organization.

Look out (and sharpen your claws) for the Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection when it hits stores and online on December 1st. 

L.A.-Based Artist David Wiseman Shares Nature-Inspired Designs in New York

Two weeks ago, 31-year-old artist David Wiseman unveiled new and wonderful works at his first official solo show in New York, at Soho’s R 20th Century. Having worked with the gallery for a few years, the L.A.-based sculpture savant was finally fêted at a jam-packed reception, curated by interior designer Rodman Primack and immortalized in a hardcover monograph.

Brimming with exceptional limited edition and one-of-a-kind pieces, from ornamented porcelain plates to elaborately framed mirrors, most everything bore the flora, fauna, and animal aesthetic Wiseman has become so well-known for.

According to the out-of-town talent, three-quarters of the items on display, from the purely decorative to the beautiful but utilitarian, had sold before the doors even opened. “It was so exciting,” he told me a few days following the frenzied event, where guests had gathered ’round him to sing his praises and snag an autograph. 

“Exciting” might be an understatement, as price points tended to hover around $50,000 and approached $100,000, though some wares commanded a cool $9,000 (the aforementioned plates, for example). It was a delightful—and successful—evening indeed, and much deserved given all the RISD-educated man has accomplished since graduating in 2003 with a BFA in furniture design.

The past nine years have brought both private and public commissions the globe-over, from Manhattan to San Antonio, Asia to his hometown. Wiseman’s signature installations can be found in a few notable locations, including the Christian Dior flagship stores in Shanghai, New York, and Tokyo, as well as the West Hollywood Library. The craftsman, however, tries never to repeat the same exact pattern twice.

The exhibition continues through January 12 and afterwards will travel to destinations as yet unconfirmed. For those currently in New York City—and those bound for Design Miami—I highly recommend checking out his fantastical, fairytale-like collection while you can. Wiseman’s creations are nothing if not inspired and imaginative, arousing the fascination and earning the appreciation of even the most minimalist and austere critics and connoisseurs alike.

Read on for more from the established visionary, a curly-haired, baby-faced guy with a voice made for radio. Even though you can’t hear him speak in his soft and soothing style, learn all about his process, his homage to history, why New York City just wasn’t sustainable, and why he believes he’s blessed.

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Unique Collage table in bronze with glass top. Designed and made by David Wiseman, USA, 2012. 29" H x 40" D. Photo by Sherry Griffin/Courtesy of R 20th Century.

First of all, congratulations on this show and your success so far! How did you come to connect with R 20th?
R 20th came about because I was working with Rodman [Primack], who has a very special client right around the corner from R 20th Century. [R 20th] has a lot of amazing clients. [When I first started working with them,] I was focusing on custom commissions. I was doing whole room installations. [R 20th] brought an incredible amount of exposure and committed clients [who] were into the idea of working together in this old world, artist-patron style, where I was pretty much living with [them] and making pieces that were personal to their family narrative.

We’ll come back to the notion of narrative momentarily. How did this specific solo show come together?
Four years later, commission after commission, that led to new bodies of work and pushed me in a new direction, [pushed me to] understand new processes. That then led to more objects and installations, so this show is really a combination [of all these things].

Back to this storytelling. How do you go about these intimate commissions?
It’s different with every client. I don’t want to repeat things; I want to keep it fresh. So, there’s this exploration process, a back-and-forth where I get to know them and the site [and] the city.

Can you offer an example?
[My] Noho project that spans four stories. The wife’s last name means “valley of the wisteria.” The husband’s last name on his mother’s side was Lindenbuam, which means “linden tree” in German. So, the installation was a dance between these two species that connects the four stories. They’ve subsequently had children and there’s animals that show up in the installation to represent each child.

Is your own home totally covered in your signature vines, too?
No, I have real vines! [There’s a] little grape orchard right outside my patio. But, my house is barren. I’ve only lived there a year and this last year has been brutal in terms of work, so I pretty much just sleep there. I get really into things and it takes over.

Brutal as in awesome.
I found what I loved to do really early on. This is what I’ve been working so hard for. I love working. I love being in the studio. It’s an exciting time, where a lot of the work is very labor-intensive. I’m at a point where I can trust assistants I’ve trained and worked with. I can do more of the creative stuff. Making stuff is still really important, though, because there’s only so much I’m able to design on paper. A lot of the design process happens touching the metal or porcelain, engaging with the forms directly. But, it’s exciting because I can hand them off for the mold to be made or the piece to be welded together.

You’re the next Warhol or Koons!
Not like that! It’s a very small team. It’s not a factory by any means. But it’s a thrill to work this way.

It’s impressive the price points you can command. I’m blown away, but not at all surprised.
I want stuff to be accessible, but right now everything is so labor-intensive. There will be a time when I make bigger run[s] of things, which will allow the minimums to come down.

David Wiseman for Target!
I don’t know if I have anything to contribute to that market right now. But, I have no problem with mass market. It just has to be done ethically and responsibly.

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Unique Glacier votive candle holder in hand-blown smoke-colored faceted Czech crystal with bronze and copper cradle. Designed and made by David Wiseman, USA, 2011. 3" H x 5" D. Photo by Sherry Griffin/Courtesy of R 20th Century. 

Is there anyone out there doing anything remotely close to what you’re doing?
I don’t know. It’s a big world. This type of work has been done for millennia, where someone was interested in having meaningful, handcrafted objects in their life, in their architecture. I feel like the 20th century is a bit of an exception. People are still making exquisite interiors, but it was much more part of the architectural tradition to bring in artisans. Construction has become less handmade. I’m of the historical precedent, like English country homes, which had decorative plasterwork on their ceilings. I’m definitely referencing that [with my work], but modernizing it and abstracting the forms and pushing the asymmetry and the naturalism a little more than historical artisans were perhaps allowed to or interested in exploring.

Can you describe your fascination with nature?
Nature is my departure point. Patterns, going back to ancient traditions, were about trying to make sense of the world in which we exist. Recreating it in human terms. It’s about being part of this wild and mysterious planet, internalizing it, and trying to analyze it. So, my fascination stems from that. Often, in architecture, up until the modern period, people brought nature indoors, whether through paintings or decorative arts or furniture or ceramics. Then, in the Western tradition at least, we went away from that. The utilitarian and machine age changed [things]. I wanted to get back to that tradition and pick up where the 19th century left off.

What draws you to nature-related renderings and depictions specifically?
I started with deer and owls. There’s a couple different birds—starlings and finches—that live in our urbanized environment, yet also have a wild existence. They’re mysterious and magical. They’re like these spirit animals that embody the same sort of imagined world of nature that I’m trying to bring into people’s homes. So, my installations and wall reliefs are about that unbridled, beautiful facet of nature, bringing it into our interiors.

You’re in L.A. now, but what once brought you to New York?
I got a job in the city working with Todd Oldham. He came to lecture at RISD and I gave him a little deer hat hanger I designed out of cast plaster. Then he hired me. This became, like, a business while I was in school. I moved to New York [and] I needed to find a place to continue making these, and other ceramics, because I was selling them in stores in L.A., New York, Japan, and Australia. So, I rented a ceramic share studio in Williamsburg.

How do the two places compare for you?
I love making work in L.A. I’m really happy here. New York was great, too, but it wasn’t for me. There’s a very distinct Brooklyn design movement, which is wonderful, but I never felt like I was part of it. I was more interested in exploring my own themes, naturalism, wandering through forests, and being outside. Half of [my studio] is outside, and it’s amazing to just open the door and be able to grind in the daylight. You can only do that so many months of the year [in New York]. Nature’s present [in NYC], but it’s more present [in California].

What would you be doing if not this?
I don’t know. I had a mid-college crisis where I thought I wanted to be a doctor, so I took a biology course at Brown. Because I’m not providing an obvious service for somebody—I’m playing with clay—I feel an obligation to work really fucking hard, because it’s, in a way, egotistical to say that I’m an artist and I’m going to spend all my time working on my own expression. I’m lucky enough to have this as my job. I’m going to work my ass off.

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Unique Talon pepper well in bronze and porcelain. Designed and made by David Wiseman, USA, 2012. Edition of 12 plus 2 artists proofs. Signed and numbered, DW1. 6.5" L x 3" W x 2.25" H. Photo by Sherry Griffin/Courtesy of R 20th Century.

Black Friday Gets Closer And Closer As Stores Greet Mobs On Thursday Night

They’ve taken over the local department store by spreading their seeds like a virulent strain of kudzu. They innocuously tempt from the television, promising great deals on life-altering items like a 96-inch flat screen television, a guitar-playing Tickle Me Elmo and a gold-plated chain bracelet that comes with a variety of gaudy, ridiculously annoying charms. They’ve even made themselves comfortable in the form of asinine ads in your inbox: “Black Friday starts on Thanksgiving!” “Don’t be left out in the cold, get your gold!” and “Get an early start with these spectacular deals!”           

And those, I am saddened to say, are the relatively tame ones.

But there’s something different about the day I like to call “brain fry-away day” this year which really has me questioning the limits of humanity: that stores will open at 8 PM on Thanksgiving Day.

Picture this: a wholesome-looking, J. Crew-outfitted middle-class family bonds all Thanksgiving Day over the creation of some GMO-laden, factory-farmed Butterball turkey and quasi-barbarically stuffing the carcass with twice-steamed rice. They then consume the damned thing amidst prayers of thanks and “mmms” and “ahhs” and exhortations about how delicious the spread was. Then they go watch The Nutcracker together, all Father Knows Best-like.

That’s the way it’s supposed to be, right?

This year, instead, die-hard shoppers will probably pile into the family station wagon, a turkey leg in hand (or in a Ziploc in case they get peckish later) and a soda in the other, a fully charged iPhone with all their digital coupons pre-loaded and ready to go, and gang way to the nearest Wal-Mart in the vicinity, because they simply need to have a PS3 for $150, like their livelihood depends on it.

Considering the earlier and earlier pattern of store openings on Black Friday in recent years, it’s not totally unexpected. Last year, stores started opening at 10 PM on Thanksgiving (which isn’t even Friday anymore), while the years before that, they typically opened at 5 AM on Friday, which was bad enough.

"The name of the game this holiday season is who can do it best," National Retail Federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis told the Chicago Tribune in a recent interview. "When (early openings) started in 2009, things were a little bit worse off in terms of consumer confidence. At that point it was very necessary for retailers to get out there before anybody else, and that literally meant before midnight."

Nevermind that people have actually died because of rabid, zombie-like, discount-hungry Neanderthals. In 2008, a 34-year-old Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death by a 2,000-man horde of Black Friday shoppers, who didn’t even wait for the store to open—they pushed against the locked polycarbonate sliding doors so hard, it finally gave way, snapping at the hinges. And they started “shopping.”

What kind of world do we live in that would allow and encourage this kind of behavior? Even if you play devil’s advocate and say that it wasn’t the shopper’s fault—it was how irresistible the deals were—you’d still lose, because that just means that Black Friday would be the only day to get items at a reasonable price… so why not offer those prices on other days of the year? Wouldn’t our economy and morale be better off?           

Understandably, store associates are not happy about having to clock in at an hour that should be spent with family and friends (though in all possibility, they can quit—it’s entirely in the right of the stores to open whenever they please), not strangers ready to horde a car full of one-dollar microfiber towels.

Over two-hundred thousand signatures have already been added to a Change.org online petition created by a store associate, urging Target not to open on Thanksgiving night, a move they decided to make after learning of Wal-Mart’s 8 PM opening hour.

Here is an excerpt from the petition letter to Target’s CEO, Gregg W. Steinhafel:

“I’m not complaining about being a minimum wage worker (kudos to her for that!). … How can you expect workers to spend time with family and then stay up all night… You are most likely tucked away in bed while workers are in the stores pushing back a rabid crowd of shoppers trying to get an iPod. A 9 PM opening disgusts me and symbolizes everything that is wrong with this country. The world won’t end if people have wait 7 more hours to buy useless junk that will be outdated in a year anyway.”

Sadly, the petition will in all likelihood do abso-fricking-lutely nothing. Retailers don’t give a damn about values, common courtesy, or family time—all they care about is money. And it’s the willingness of a blind, soulless, materialistic flock of consumerist sheep that makes it all possible.           

According to a news broadcast by CNBC, ten-percent of all holiday shopping is done on Black Friday itself. That amounts to the 226 million shoppers that showed up last year—and the amount of money they will grow higher still—by 4.1%—projected for this year’s debacle.

That’s right, the real culprit is not Wal-Mart, Target, Toys“R”Us or Best Buy—it’s US (double entendre 100% deliberate). We make the madness happen. We are the ones flooding the stores, wreaking both havoc and economic growth upon the nation. We are the ones who will make a mad dash to buy a Wii U for $89, because we can.

But that doesn’t mean we should. 

Yes! Prabal Gurung is Coming to Target

Get excited: Prabal Gurung has officially signed on to design a capsule collection for Target. The NY-based talent favored by Rooney Mara and Jennifer Lawrence follows in the footsteps of the fast-fashion chain’s bevy of high-fashion collaborators, including Rodarte and Proenza Schouler. The news also comes hot off the heels of Gurung’s two-piece contribution to the highly-anticipated Neiman Marcus + Target Holiday collection

Per Style.com, the capsule is an "80-piece collection of women’s clothes, jewelry, shoes, and bags is right on point with the Prabal brand, full of graphic prints and bold colors." Does this mean that we can finally get our hands on Gurung’s delicious graphics for way less? Oh yes. Peep the video below to catch the designer talking about the collab and look out for the collection when it hits Target stores February 10, 2013.

Irony Alert: Target Now Stocking Same-Sex Greeting Cards

Oh Target, land of sterile, plasticine formica flooring, cheap deals, and imported polyester designer collabs, how you confuse me so. First, you make a $150,000 donation to gay-marriage-opposing Republican candidate Tom Emmer, then you curiously decide not to stock Frank Ocean’s newest album right after he announces he’s bisexual. So why then, after all this, do you decide to shill greeting cards in your stores, with racks bearing the headings “For two special men” and “For two special women,” complete with large, bold lettering that shout “Mr. & Mr.” and "Two very special women, one very special love?" My very impressionable mind is truly befuddled.

According to company spokeswoman Molly Snyder, the very recently gay-friendly discount retailer now offers greeting cards that appeal to a variety of audiences. This is most likely because they’ve figured out that gay guys and gals like to shop for greeting cards, especially at a store that once practically beat them away with a homophobic stick:

"What Target and other marketers have figured out is it’s not a zero-sum game," said Witeck Communications CEO Bob Witeck, who studies the gay community. "The rewards of marketing to gay households are greater than the perceived risks."

Witeck’s research indicates that the purchasing power of the country’s LGBT population this year is $790 billion, or about $49,000 per adult. There’s no way Target was going to miss that gay-vy train!

The company has not made clear if this is a sort of obvious apology for its anti-gay antics of the past. Either way, gay money is still good money for the bull’s eye! 

If You Want to Buy Frank Ocean’s Album, Don’t Go to Target

Yesterday, Odd Future tour manager Christian Clancy dropped some surprising news on Twitter. In a tweet that he eventually deleted, he wrote, “Target has refused to carry Franks album due to iTunes exclusive. Interesting since they also donate to non equal rights organizations.” Not surprsingly, the retail giant has found itself the center of some controversy.

The knee-jerk reaction, as Clancy described it in a later tweet, was understandable, but Target insists that the decision to avoid selling Ocean’s stellar debut album, Channel Orange, has nothing to do with his coming out last week. In a statement, the chain’s spokesperson clarified:

At Target, we focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs, so our selection of new releases is dedicated to physical CDs rather than titles that are realized digitally in advance of the street date…The claims made about Target’s decision to not carry the Frank Ocean album are absolutely false. Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business. Our assortment decisions are based on a number of factors, including guest demand. Target has a longstanding tradition of supporting music and artistry that reflects the diverse landscape of American culture.

Sorry, moms! Looks like you’ll have to get your kids to teach you how to download things on iTunes after all or, you know, go to some big-box bookstore chain and pay sixteen bucks for that physical CD.