You've Already Missed Out on the Missoni Collection at Target

If you were thinking of moseying over to a Target store after work to pick up a few of those Missoni items, don't bother. By 8:30 this morning the racks were cleaned out. I know this because I was at the Super Target at Abrams and Skillman bright and early, but not earlier than armies of Stepford Wives who were gliding out with carts piled high as I was going in.

Sweaters? Gone. Skirts, coats, blouses? All gone. Ditto purses, shoes, lingerie, hats, scarves, tights, dishes, vases, towels, luggage, kids' clothes and bicycles. Of the 400 Missoni items Target launched today, all I found left this morning were some socks, three pencil boxes and a pair of gloves. The latter were on the floor, dropped accidentally, I'm sure, by a Stepfordian now doing a sad little weep at the loss of them.

I am not easily beaten, however. Back by the dressing room, several of us wily shopper-ladies hung around for discards. Target employees have a maddening policy that they're strictly enforcing for this Missoni mishigas. After re-hanging a reject, they have to walk it all the way back to its rack at the front of the store, where it's pounced on like raw meat thrown to a pack of hungry hyenas. There was viciousness happening when a green corduroy coat or a sweater would reappear on a rack. I saw women grabbing things out of other women's carts. Others were working in teams, one to guard the cart, the other to fight for a blouse or a dress, whatever the size.

So back by the dressing rooms, I chatted up a nice lady named Jody, who was standing sentry over a cart full of Missoni that her friend was trying on five at a time. The friend had hips like me (the Missoni separates go up to size XL) and wasn't sure about a few things. A little bonding chitchat with Jody about outlet malls and Rachel Zoe and, boom, I was in. Thanks to her, I scored a black pleated knit skirt, a knit hoodie and a menswear cardigan that will go fine with the skirt. I promise, somehow, to pay it forward, Jody.

A mile away at the Target on Northwest Highway and Abrams, a smaller store we call the "Why-are-we-here" Target, it was the same scene. Empty racks and sad faces. Women had bought clothes by the box load as they were wheeled onto the selling floor, a salesclerk told me. All that was left there were a few tiny kids' galoshes and some Missoni-style post-its.

Target wasn't ready for this. The website has been up and down since just after midnight. If you were lucky enough to get on the site late this morning, many of the items already appeared "Out of Stock." There weren't enough checkers to handle the hordes at the stores. "This is like Christmas," said a nice checker named Janice at the Super Target just before 9 a.m. Janice told me they might restock later tonight or early tomorrow. I shouldn't even tell you that.

On the way out today, I got the best Missoni bargain of all: two empty shoe boxes with the pretty brown and orange zigzag pattern on them that someone had left behind in a cart in the parking lot. I am now on a zigzag high.

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