I’m about to step over the threshold of Penthouse 2, at Trump Place, one of The Donald’s spiffy Costas Kondylis-designed real estate temples overlooking the Hudson on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The lobby was serene, in that expensive marble and matte-gold-mirror kind of way; the hallway papered in a discreet, tasteful beige. So what’s this loud orange doormat, screaming “Step Into Savings!” doing outside a condo that normally rents for at least $10K a month?
It’s one of those surreal moments that keep happening in this meltdown economy: K-Mart-like sales at Saks, layoffs at Chanel. What’s next? And early-bird special at Per Se?
In flusher times, The Donald would have cringed at the garish budget-range merchandise sullying this shrine to luxury living. In thismarket, he was probably thrilled to snag even a short-term tenant.
The Target goods on display were screamingly sunny–all 1950’s colors–orange, lime green, turquoise. Whether the hues were a nod to the current “Mad Men” and “Revolutionary Road” vogue for the Eisenhower era, or a Pantone-driven attempt to cheer up a dispirited populace no chipper PR wrangler was willing to say.
One of the more interesting offerings was a line of clothes for infants in green and lilac, perfect for parents who can’t bear the relentlessly pink merch peddled for baby girls at most emporiums. Even more radical — baby sheets and blankets in brown, green and yellow by Dwell Studio.
In February, Target will roll out a line of accessories by British designer Orla Keily, as part of its continuing rotation of celebrity designers. Others will be announced later in year.