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Racked Mailbag: Simply Vera. UGH.

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Once in a while, we pull letters from the Racked Inbox and post them for your enjoyment and/or enlightenment. Want to contribute? We're listening. Anonymity always assured.

Vera Wang's effort for Kohl's, Simply Vera, officially hit stores yesterday and from the reports we've seen trickling into the Racked Inbox, it seems that shoppers who've gone to check the collection out have had the same response to the clothing that we did: it's not great. A reader writes:

Vera Wang. What a total crapfest. I’m a diehard fan who appreciates good fashion, but I’m just as much a suburban bargain hunter on the inside. This collection spoke to neither side of me. My instinct is to blame this all on Kohl’s.

There was little to herald the designer’s arrival besides some not-very-eye-catching posters above the front door. Inside, display signs for the merchandise were small and inconspicuous. Clothes were predictably sized too large. I get that the typical Kohl’s demographic isn’t willowy but let’s not insult all of middle America. A size 12 could have fit into the shirts tagged “Small.” Also, the silhouettes were just plain bizarre – a voluminous bubble skirt fell to mid-calf, which just isn’t going to flatter anyone. The line’s most expensive coat ($128) was unlined! There’s far better outerwear at H&M for less money. (Yet, in an act of complete hypocrisy, I am now the owner of said garment.)

Accessories were so-so. Scarves were itchy and the leather gloves overpriced but the tights ($12) were nice and thick. I would have much preferred fun, costume jewelry to the fine jewelry line locked behind a case. Go all out or go cheap, but please don’t give me QVC-styled pieces. Moving onto the shoe department? $119 leather boots, new in the box, were made with the flimsy 1cm soles that were already exposing the glue job underneath.

How much control did VW have over the designs? What’s sad is that this will be a boon for Kohl’s – everyone who came to shop for Simply Vera wound up purchasing items from another brand/department. To sum it up: Just as bad as Go for Target, only higher pricetags and less marketing.

· Simply Vera Is Simply Awful [Racked]