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Case of the missing Cynthia Vincent for Target shoes

April 21, 2010 |  8:30 am

Cynthia_Vincent_02They've been splashed across glossy magazine and ad pages for months. But good luck finding them at a Target store. The retailer's latest cheap chic collaboration, a shoe collection by L.A. designer Cynthia Vincent, is a near sell-out.

When I turned up at my local Target on La Cienega on Sunday, there was plenty of the hideous Jean-Paul Gaultier for Target collection -- at 30% off -- and even some Liberty for Target baby floral print stragglers. But in the shoe department, all I found were a few overturned boxes of Vincent's $29.99 black, studded toe-ring sandals, the least-desirable style of the bunch.

There was not a wedge sandal in sight -- no gladiator wedge in sunshine yellow, or multicolored print wedge with Velcro closures, which I intended to buy as the lynchpin of spring's techno tribal trend for my wardrobe.

What a buzzkill.

The Target stores in West Hollywood and in Culver City were no better. Sold out. Completely. And forget online. As of Sunday, the $29.99 gladiator wedge styles were sold out on Target.com. By Monday, they were being listed as available in stores only. Which is great if you're a size 9 1/2 and you live in Conway, Ark., but not if you live anywhere near Los Angeles.  

I reached a spokeswoman for Target by e-mail who said that certain styles (including the cognac-colored gladiator wedge) will be replenished in stores mid-May, but that the black and yellow gladiator wedges were exclusive to Target.com and have sold out. And despite the fact that the stock in no way approached the level of hype, she said distribution went according to plan.

So no, you cannot blame your spring shopping letdown on an Icelandic ash cloud.

"While we planned aggressively, the Cynthia Vincent program has dramatically exceeded expectations."

I'll say. If Target is going to continue its strategy of whipping shoppers into a frenzy every few weeks over a new designer collaboration, it's  going to have to deliver.

If you're still smarting from the shoe slight, you might consider similar styles from Cynthia Vincent's own Twelfth Street line, such as the Luella gladiator wedge for $396. But hurry, they're going fast.

-- Booth Moore

Photo: Cynthia Vincent for Target multicolored wedge sandal. Courtesy of Target.

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