Left: Proenza Schouler Extra Large PS1, $2,350 at Net-A-Porter.com. Right: Mossimo® Messenger Cognac, $34.99 at Target

One of the main things I had to get used to after moving to NYC was missing out on my bi-weekly Target shopping trips (and Chick-fil-A, but that is an entirely different story). I grew accustomed to shopping for all of my household needs and then browsing the designer collaborations Target had to offer on every visit. After all, Target has collaborated with many huge designer brands for their Target on the Go! International line. One of these designers is Proenza Schouler, which released a collection with Target in the mid-2000′s. The collection was so sought after that Target just reissued several of the dresses a couple of weeks ago alongside other popular past designer collaborations.


That is why seeing this Mossimo Messenger in Cognac on the Target website is particularly interesting since the bag clearly looks similar to the famed Proenza Schouler PS1. While we know Target has many bags that are modeled after well-known designer bags, this bag hits a little too close to home because of the business relationship Proenza has with Target.

Blog debate: Did Target take a step too far by carrying this PS1 look-a-like?

[More on this via NY Times]

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  • HandbagReport

    Megs, I agree – Target crossed the line with this messenger bag! Also, I eat Chick Fil-a at least twice a week so I feel your pain!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      I was teasing Megs about Chickfila while she wrote this earlier. I have nuggets in my tummy right now. I’m going to miss it so much when I move.

      • Staci

        Amanda, when are you moving?!

      • Shannon

        I heard there is a Chickfila in NYU, and its open to the public.

  • bindc

    I actually saw that at Target the other day. I made a bee-line for it because it looked exactly like the PS1 and I thought, “Holy crap what a knock off!”

    I suppose people who know better will automatically realize it’s a cheap knock off and those who don’t know any better don’t know what they’re missing anyway.

    I’ll be honest to say I don’t know how business relationships work but even though Proenza has a “history” with Target, Mossimo is THE Target brand, right? So is it Target’s fault or Mossimo? Or both? I don’t know.

  • FashionFanboy
  • Vicky

    Proenza should just leave Target alone. The masses deserve good alternatives to iconic pieces such as PS1. It is not a fake, but an inspired version.

  • theresa

    It doesn’t bother me as the Proenza is just basically a redo of an old school bag/briefcase. Aside from the style of the clasp it is almost identical to my dad’s (who is 70) 50 year old college bag that he still carries today.

  • bonniesgirl

    When I was a kid, everybody had a schoolbag like that. See above comment.

  • Angie

    The Target version just looks cheap. I can only imagine what it looks like in person.

    • LDJ

      U took the words right out of my mouth.

  • jen

    I must say I agree that there will always be inspired by pieces or even knockoffs at places like Target for much less money, and rightfully so, cause not everyone is crazy enough or can afford to spend $ 2,000 on a handbag. I wish everyone could afford the real deal, but for many people this will be a dream. I can only dream about it, too – fair enough, I won’t be buying any knock-off, that just would not feel right.

  • Bagolicious

    They all copy each other at some level. And the PS1 is not anything really new. I agree with Teresa above. I’m in my 50s and have seen the same ideas rehashed over and over again and throughout the decades. Plus, there are plenty of designers and design companies that copy and have copied ideas from kids off the street and those kids haven’t received a dime for their ideas. So, as far as I’m concerned a lot of high-priced designer products are knock offs of lower priced items.

  • Stephanie

    I think they did. I don’t like the Target knockoffs, and I think it’s insulting and not creative to copy a designer’s already-existing bag.

  • PhotoGirl

    Completely agree with those who point out that the PS1 is “inspired” by a book bag that’s been around forever. I , too, have one that once belonged to my dad.
    I saw this bag at Target last night. The PS boys have nothing to worry about: the chemical smell is staggering enough to keep most customers away from this one and there are nicer PS-inspired bags out there, anyway.

  • Webaj

    I was just in Zara and they have a copy of this bag as well, same color, same concept. I guess it is the knockoff bag of the season.

  • 19yearslater

    Absolutely not. Of course this is supposed to look like a PS1, but honestly I don’t think PS is losing any business because of this Target purse. If it were another designer brand that would be another story. It’s not as if designer inspired items at chain stores are anything new, whether they’ve carried a diffusion line or not.

  • Perry P

    I love the PS1 bag. However, Chick-fil-A is an anti-gay company I will not support.

  • suz

    I am sorry for all of you offended by this but i think its great that target is carrying a look alike I would never be able to afford an original PS1 bag I always look for budget friendly items that have a designer look to them because i work for my money and can’t spend all of it of just one thing. I have to eat

  • rose60610

    I don’t see a resemblance issue here. Messenger bags in this style are prevalent. It’s like wondering if Target’s black T shirts are a take off on Bloomingdale’s black T shirts. Look at trench coats. Many have epaulets, cuff straps, belt, etc.

  • Sarah

    I would hardly call these two identical. The Target bag is cheap looking, and even if it wasn’t beside the PS1, I still wouldn’t buy it. I think it’s ugly.
    I’m in love with the Proenza Schouler, however, and I deeply covet anyone who is fortunate enough to be able to afford one.

  • KaylaNiche

    I don’t really see it as a knock off, they’re just semi similar-looking bags. O_o Meh

  • somethingbags

    a knock off is a knock off. nobody can deny the beauty, value and feel of the real thing which is a knock out.

  • ninjaninja

    Knock off!

  • Jessica borel

    There is a little similarity, but not enough to make me really compare the two in any real way. Messenger bags all look similar by their very design anyway.

  • JJ

    (this article is very similar to the one posted on The Cut’s website yesterday) I”ll repeat what I said there: I own the PS1 and the last time I was at Target I saw these and checked them out. The only thing that’s the same about them is the look. The workmanship, details, hardware, material don’t even come close to the PS1. Honestly, if you can afford the PS1, chances are you’re not going to change your mind and buy the $35 Target version instead. One of the best things about the PS1 is the Lux Leather they use and the PVC that Target chose to make theirs from doesn’t even come close. I don’t think PS needs to worry about buyers choosing the Target version over theirs! If someone wants to buy the Target version, chances are rather high that they never had any intention of spending the $$ on the actual PS1 – there’s far more to a bag than how it looks

  • louch

    The Target version looks very cheap and poor quality. If you are a true PS afficiando, you’ll pay for the real thing and know you are carrying the real deal.

  • shelly epps

    ewww shopping at target for handbags is kinda cheap look for Mary Frances handbags looks 200% better then anything target or best buy could ever do plus reasonably priced plus not a knock off versace or dior piece of crap!

    maryfranceshandbagszone.blogspot.com/

  • Rashida

    It doesn’t offend me. It doesn’t really look like the PS bag, it looks really cheap and just awful!

  • Cathy Fitz

    I think that messengers bags are not really copies as the flap and buckle, and handles and strap, are really basic to ALL messengers. Target’s collaborations, IMHO, are pretty sad. They look cheap, and are usually pleather. But I don’t think this is a knock-off of PS, just a cheap messenger bag that will work for some. And PS will certainly not be losing any sales over this!

  • Tiffany

    i love target, I couldnt beleive they had a ;eather William Rast jacket for $200.

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  • Naggy

    The leather on the Target version is very cheap-looking whereas on the real PS1, it looks rich in color and sturdy.

  • Mochababe73

    I remember tweeting this bag a few weeks back (lenathediva). It also comes in about 5 different colors.
    Of course the same quality is not there. It’s Target for crying out loud.
    I have never been a fan of this bag. It’s just okay, but I like for my handbags to look like handbags and not book bags.
    Not everyone can afford the real thing. Some can afford it but choose to spend their money on something else.
    If anything, all designers at some point knock off others. There are many, many alliterations of the LV Speedy. Buying an inspired bag doesn’t make you cheap. It makes you smart by shopping within your means and not accumulating credit card debt.
    And, I own a couple of the designer collaborations from Target. My clothes are still growing strong, and my Botkier bag is still as pretty as the day I bought it. Nothing has fallen apart or fallen off.

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