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William Rast for Target serves up buttery leather -- and a bunch for the boys

December 16, 2010 | 12:10 pm

William Rast for Target
The 5-year-old William Rast label boards the Target train on Dec. 19, and unlike most of the retailer's designer collaborations, this one has a lot to offer guys -- including T-shirts, button-front shirts and hoodies for him; skirts, faux-leather shorts, jeggings and embellished loose-fitting tank tops for her; and a range of five-pocket denim and outerwear pieces for both.

Even if you aren’t familiar with the name William Rast, you’ve probably heard of one of its co-founders: singer-actor Justin Timberlake. The pop star launched the denim-heavy line in 2005 with Trace Ayala, a childhood friend from Millington, Tenn. (“William” is the first name of Timberlake's

grandfather and “Rast” is the last name of Ayala's.) The line drew much of its nostalgic Americana aesthetic from the shared childhood experience.

The William Rast for Target collection is priced from $16.99 for a tank T-shirt to $199.99 for a fringed leather jacket (compared with $50 to $700 for the core William Rast line) and will be in select Target stores and on the retailer’s website from Dec. 19 through Jan. 22.

The vibe of the capsule collection is “biker/rebel” (for him) and “bohemian/tomboy” (for her), and noteworthy pieces on the men’s side include heavy military-inspired twill shirts perfect for layering  and deliberately pre-wrinkled plaid shirts with western-style snap buttons (each $34.99). Standouts among the women’s wardrobe choices are stretchy, black, embellished skirts that manage to be sexy but not trashy ($34.99) and woven silk blouses ($34.99).

The buttery leather outerwear pieces for both are surprisingly supple, and the women’s black leather jacket with epaulets at the shoulder and fringe along the front of the yoke looks and feels worth a lot more than its $199.99 price tag would indicate.

The range of five-pocket denim offerings is simple and straightforward, with straight-leg, skinny and boot-cut styles and with patching, abrading and oil-staining treatments. If you happen to be familiar with the William Rast brand’s deep roots in premium denim, the assortment offered here might feel less than compelling -– until you take into account the $49.99 price.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Looks from the William Rast for Target capsule collection for men and women that will be sold in select Target stores and online from Dec. 19 to Jan. 22. Credit: Target