There’s a trend afoot (in the case of Payless ShoeSource it really is afoot) for discount retailers to feature lines by high-end designers. Mass manufacturing, inexpensive fabrics and less emphasis on detailing allow mall and big-box companies to sell these collections at affordable prices. Though Kmart has long carried products by celebrity designers Kathy Ireland and Martha Stewart, more recent pushes—such as Target’s GO. International—have paved the way for something akin to couture for the masses. Wal-Mart boasts GEORGE ME by South African designer Mark Eisen and JCPenney carries Nicole by Nicole Miller. This fall, the high-end-meets-low-cost choices extend to Steve & Barry’s and Kohl’s.
[right] Vera Wang‘s line, Simply Vera Wang, hit Kohl’s (149 Bleachery Blvd., Asheville, 298-5398) last month. Prices range from $34 to $138.
• [left] English designer Alice Temperley is the latest to join the GO initiative at Target (15 River Hills Road, Asheville, 298-1262). The collection, priced from $14.99 to $139.99, is available through Tuesday, Nov. 6.
• [right] French designer Laura Poretzky created her Abaeté line for Payless (3 S. Tunnel Road, Asheville, 299-4661). The Fall ‘07 collection, featured at New York Fashion Week, includes five styles plus sunglasses and bags. Prices run $14-$70.
• Actress Amanda Bynes introduced her casual, youthful dear label at Steve & Barry’s (800 Brevard Road, Asheville, 667-0778) in August. Every item is $19.98 or less.