Isaac Mizrahi, the cheap-chic designer who helped create the image of Target as a style destination, defected from the retailer on Tuesday to a more ambitious, and lucrative, role of making over the struggling Liz Claiborne label.
The end of his five-year run at Target is a blow to a retailer that has based its entire business on creating a safe home for celebrity designers to reach a broader and less-affluent audience. Mr. Mizrahi's collection sold as much as $300 million each year, and it will be a challenge for Target to find a replacement as well known to consumers.
Claiborne, which has been losing market share in department stores like Macy's for several years, hopes to revive its image with high-profile hires like Mr. Mizrahi, who was named creative director of the brand one day after the company announced that John Bartlett would design its men's wear.
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