By  on April 15, 2010

New York’s Zac attack will begin tonight at exactly 11 p.m.

A 24-hour shopping event-cum-party for Zac Posen’s Target’s Go International collection will begin then at 481 Eighth Avenue and 34th Street. Posen’s entire collection for Target will be available, including iconic looks such as a black tuxedo jacket ($49.99) and pants ($34.99), a brocade tie dress ($74.99) and a gown ($69.99) — Target’s first designer floor-length style.

Shoppers have until the clock strikes 11 Friday night to buy; that is, if the supply lasts that long. A Liberty of London + Target pop-up shop near Bryant Park was forced to close two days earlier than planned last month when stocks ran out. Posen’s collection is due in Target stores and on April 25.

Posen’s populist turn with Target has got him thinking of other possibilities. “This absolutely could lead to a more permanent [collection],” he said. “I’m into building a fully vertical lifestyle brand like the Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani model.”

Already, Posen produces lines with different price ranges. The Zac Posen collection runs from $900 to $12,000, with custom pieces fetching upward of $20,000. Z Spoke, which is sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, is priced from $78 for a cotton T-shirt to $675 for a knit dress. “It’s not the Zac Posen brand for less,” the designer said ofhis Target collection. “I’m a luxury fiend. I love saying, ‘How can we make something the best possible way?’ I wanted to curate a wardrobe for the best summer of a woman’s life. When addressing a larger demographic, the idea was to really home in on this kick-ass, go-getting, fun-loving best summer of a woman’s life. We tied in different elements and different design languages that I’ve developed over the years.”

Posen, who designed model Coco Rocha’s wedding dress, said he shifts easily between the runway and the rounder rack. “This was an opportunity to build the image of a cool girl on the go,” he said, referring to the Target line. He said he was inspired by everything from Lady Gaga’s jumpsuits to “Baywatch” swimwear. “We brought back a version of our trumpet dress. It’s all updated and improved for a larger audience. We also did a snap group,” he said.

Posen, who said his company will break even this year, is interested in opening his own stores. “At one moment in my life, I wanted tons of stores for my top line,” he said. “Right now, I’m trying to be fiscally responsible. Obviously, retail is on the horizon. I want the timing to be right.”

Designers have been collaborating with department stores and mass merchants for so long that “there’s no stigma,” Posen said. “This is the future of fashion. Creating brands at this price point actually gives me a reason for doing couture and doing designer clothing. You can’t play the advertising game and marketing game with only luxury. You can have bags, shoes and sunglasses, but it doesn’t add up. A real designer collection is not an equation that works anymore as a model for a business.”

With Target’s muscle, Posen was able to work with top talent on the advertising and marketing campaign for Zac Posen for Target. Ellen von Unwerth photographed the campaign. “We got funding to make a short film with Gia Coppola,” he said. “I wanted to be very involved in the whole brand image.” The film follows the girl band The Like as they dress — in Zac Posen for Target — in a hotel room before a concert. There’s a Fifties quality to their hair and makeup — no surprise, since Coppola said she was inspired by old footage of the Beatles.

The Like will perform at the 24-hour event, where the 10,000-square-foot space has 24-foot ceilings and is decorated like a sophisticated nightclub — call it Zac’s — with the designer’s name in neon, seating areas, walls of glass beads and opulent flower arrangements. There will also be dancers and sets from DJs such as Kid America throughout the night as well as other “surprises,” a Target spokesman said.

“I wanted to do something in my hometown,” Posen said of the event. “My heroes are Florenz Zigfield and Roy Disney. I love creating a happening and a moment. I wanted to do a party for the masses and the public. We’re living in the age of Gaga. I wanted everybody to feel like a star. Fame is a huge fantasy for people. Everybody should feel like a star.”

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