The Target Future Collective Makes a Joyous Return with Gabriella Karefa-Johnson
Target’s Future Collective collection has returned with its second designer, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson. “This is a full circle moment. When Target came to me to talk to me about the Future Collective, I was like, 1,000% yes,” Vogue’s global contributing fashion editor-at-large said of the partnership. “I’m very invested in doing projects that feel authentic to who I am and my story, but also honor where I came from. I also was just so excited about being able to create clothing. I’ve done one very small collaboration before, but this was by far the biggest.”
Over the years, Karefa-Johnson has made a name for herself as an editor and stylist, bringing her expertise and personality to publications from Vogue to Vanity Fair. And when she isn’t busy styling A-list stars like Florence Pugh, and hitting the streets with model friends Gigi and Bella Hadid, the former Fashion Director of GARAGE magazine is simply trying to find her joy—which comes in the form of daily dressing.
“For me, fashion should be about fun and it should be about joy. Getting dressed in the morning is one of the most joyous moments of the day for me,” she said, adding that she wanted her Future Collective line to not only be size inclusive, but help diminish the pressures and intimidation that can often surround fashion.
“Learning from past experiences, I was like, okay, this needs to be size inclusive, super accessible, because fashion can be daunting and it can be intimidating,” she explained. “So I wanted people to be able to step outside of their comfort zone, maybe take some risks, but also not feel alienated by this collection.”
The collection, ranging from XXS-4X and 00-30, features transitional dresses, lightweight outerwear, versatile layering pieces like blazers and shirts, as well as matching sets and an array of skirts and trousers—all between a price point of $10-$50, with most items under $35.
And with nearly 100 items, and three seasonal refreshes—the first of which will drop on January 29 on Target.com and in select Target stores—Karefa-Johnson has created colorful and bold pieces that can easily be mixed and matched, allowing the consumer to create a whole new wardrobe solely from the collection itself.
“If you know the way that I style and what my tastes are, I’m always mixing prints and textures,” she said, adding that a lot of color—which can be seen in her pink, drawstring mini dress and her brightly patterned matching top sets—was one of the ways she wanted to bring that sense of happiness and joy to her collection.
In addition to color, another necessary requirement for the stylist’s collection is denim—one of her favorite outfits from the line being her uniquely patterned denim set featuring an oversized button down shirt and straight-legged pants.
“The denim is super high quality and fab. Whenever I’m dealing with classics, I want there to be some twist, or something that turns it on its head. So having the printed denim, the oversized menswear shirt silhouette… I just love the idea of big on big. I think in general it’s the most stylish,” she explained. “I think the world tells…if you’re wearing a big shirt, you wear smaller pants. Or wearing a smaller shirt, you wear a bigger…I’m just like supersize and maximize. I am seriously a maximalist.”
Though she’s loving trends like Jenna Ortega‘s Wednesday Addams gothic glamour, with several little black dresses featured in her collection, the fashion force is also a fan of the ’90s resurgence. Combining that with her Southern Californian roots, Karefa-Johnson created pieces like chic cargo pants, which she styled with her purple floral crop top design—a nod to Regina Rocket in the early 2000s Nickelodeon series Rocket Power. (Surely a reference millennial fashionistas everywhere will respect).
“I remember growing up, and I was like…I’m not a skater girl, even though I’m from Southern California. I’m not a surfer. I’m not a goth. I’m not a music kid. I could never figure out where I fit in. Then I realized like I was all of those things in some way,” she said. “You want to combine all those aspects. All of those, we contain multitudes. It’s like some days I feel sexiest and most confident and oversized denim. Some days I want to cut out dress!”
Though she can now add designer to her resume, you’ll still be able to find Karefa-Johnson perusing the aisles at Target. “I will always be a Target shopper, was before this collection, will be after this collection,” she said. “It felt like a very unique opportunity for me to connect with an audience that’s really reflective of who I was, who I still am.”