Good luck finding these Cynthia Vincent shoes: they’re not
available online or at the Columbia Heights Target.

The ads in glossies and on TV have got you pumped. You’ve previewed the collection on your favorite fashion blog. You go online the day the collection is released and it’s already sold out. What the fuck?, you think. This stuff has been available for five freakin’ hours.

For fashion-conscious women on a budget, the release of one of Target’s limited-edition designer collaborations, including those that are part of the GO International line, is a highly anticipated event. But actually getting one’s hands on the merchandise can be a frustrating endeavor. Especially in D.C.

Launched in 2006, the GO line grows in popularity each year. Past designers who collaborated with Target include Luella Bartley, Proenza Schouler, and Rogan Gregory. This year Target featured a GO collection by Rodarte, and Jean Paul Gaultier and Liberty of London produced non-GO collections for the retailer.

Last Sunday, two accessories collections hit the website and stores: hats by Eugenia Kim, and shoes by Cynthia Vincent. All e-commerce merchandise was sold out within hours. A few years ago, shoppers didn’t have to be so quick on the draw: Is the demand really that high, or is it a matter of limiting merchandise to enhance caché?

“It’s the former,” said Target spokesperson Joshua Thomas. “The guest is becoming much more savvy. She knows that if she doesn’t seek out the merchandise within a few hours of it becoming available, she’ll have a more difficult time accessing it.”

According to Thomas, the order placed for the Cynthia Vincent collection was the largest order Target has placed for any of their limited-edition shoe collections. But the Beltway, in large part, is still waiting for it.

In a poll this week of a dozen D.C. area Target stores, eight had yet to receive any Eugenia Kim or Cynthia Vincent merchandise, one had gotten the shoes but not the hats, and another had gotten the hats but not the shoes. Only two Targets, the one in Columbia Heights and the one in Bowie, had received both collections.

“Both collections are scheduled to be sold in quote-unquote all of our 1700 stores,” said Thomas. “But our inventory is changing on a daily basis and some stores may not have merchandise yet.”

Zac Posen for GO goes on sale this Sunday, and the collection’s availability will be even more limited. According to a list from PR agency LaForce + Stevens, the firm responsible for GO publicity, only three D.C. area Targets are set to receive the Zac Posen clothing: Columbia Heights, Alexandria, and Silver Spring. Fashionistas, set your alarm clocks.