Here's What to Buy from the Hunter for Target Collaboration
If you’re reading this, that means the long-awaited Hunter for Target collaboration is now live to shop on the retailer’s website. But before you click on over there to get your hands on all the brightly hued wellies, totes, and hammocks your cart can handle, you might want to read this first. Why? Because I was one of the lucky editors invited by the company to test out the goods in advance in Big Sur, California.
There, I really got the chance to put the wares through their paces in a mix of rain, mud, and face-painting (at a Target-sponsored music festival later that weekend in L.A.), and can attest they are as functional and well-made as they are handsome. Hunter’s creative director, Alasdhair Willis, agrees. “If I felt that we were just producing cheaper versions of what we're known for or that we weren't delivering a level of quality, I wouldn't want to be associated with that to be quite honest,” he says of the venture, which tops out at $80 and includes over 300 items across the women’s, men’s, kid’s, home and outdoor categories.
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Indeed, the end results—inspired by festivals and the idea of family and friends coming together—are truly impressive. (Also, not to be gossip-y but Willis, who’s married to the one and only Stella McCartney, says that his wife approves and can’t wait to snag the whole line in time for summer, which is the only endorsement I need).
Read on for a shopping list of my favorite pieces, plus a few more I’m dying to try.
Waterproof Ankle Boots
I prefer the ankle style to knee-high version because, even though Kate Moss made the latter famous when she wore a pair to Glastonbury in 2005, I always feel a bit too I Know What You Did Last Summer—these are less overwhelming on shorter frames. So I took them for a short hike down a slightly steep, sometimes muddy path. The first thing I noticed was that, because of the lining, my feet felt cushioned and supported, almost like a sneaker. This is also going to be key on cold days—I have to wear two pairs of socks with my current rain boots. Also, the grip on the bottoms was great.
While I suppose the term “bum bag” may be appropriate for a British brand like Hunter, let’s call a spade a spade (or rather, a fanny pack a fanny pack). This, to me, was a sleeper hit—never in a million years did I imagine I could be a fanny pack person but, thanks to the dignified clean lines and small shape, I think I pulled it off. It holds a surprising amount too and has lots of handy little pockets.
A word to the wise about this one: Make sure you detach the little storage pouch it comes with before wearing it. Um, I didn’t and NBD, Willis pointed out that it was hanging down from my collar in the back. Chic. But once that’s out of the way, wear it with abandon—I went for a run in not-quite-fifty degree weather and it kept me pretty warm with only a long-sleeve T underneath. Not to mention dry as it started to downpour during my jaunt along some unmarked, winding dirt roads. I had concerns about dying in a mudslide and that it might be days before anyone would find my body but not about my cell phone getting wet!
I’m no umbrella connoisseur so the most I can say about this is that it’s compact, it works, and it’s a cheery shade of yellow which is enough for me.
This is a great bag. I wore it all day during a light hike and it held all the essentials and then some, and the interior and exterior pockets provided easy access and organization. My favorite part though is the magnetic closure at the top, which means no fiddling ever.
OK, I did not try this but it was kind of the “it” piece during my trip—pretty much all the editors wanted it and I noticed a lot of people buying it during the pre-shopping event at the music festival. I’m not sure I could pull it off (remember I’m just getting used to a fanny pack) but it’s kinda perfect for days spent in the sun.
At $80, this is one of the pricier products in the collection, but worth it for all the little details: It’s collapsible, there’s a zip top, and the assembly instructions are printed on the underside. The only problem is that I have absolutely no use for a wagon. I still might buy it though?