Gaultier Stripes and Posen Florals Herald Spring and Strong Apparel Sales for Target

Last Updated Jan 26, 2010 12:03 PM EST

Just in time to catch a spring breeze and the purse strings of recessionistas, the French sailor shirt will hit the racks at Target. It's more than good timing. Sure, Target will ride the wave of recent interest in nautical stripes thanks to Coco Before Chanel, the sleeper film that has a whole new generation of style hunters swooning over its classic practicality. But their shirt will go one better: it's been re-imagined by the Gallic designer Jean-Paul Gaultier (who wears his own stripes like a uniform) as part of his special collection for the hotly anticipated Go International line.

Behold -- Gaultier's version is loose and sleeveless and priced around $20. Thanks to Stylecaster's preview of Gaultier's collection you see it worn tunic style over a swim suit and also tucked into a flouncy floral mini.

If you ask me, the collection as a whole lacks cohesion, but key classic pieces such as the a motorcycle jacket and an adorable trench (just in time to fend off March's fickle temperatures) will be ringing steady sales at the registers.

Ditto for Zac Posen's line, when his darling floral frocks make their Go debut on April 25.

Despite calling Posen out for an 80s aesthetic NY Magazine's, The Cut believes he's designed a collection of winners. I heartily agree -- on both counts. Yes, the dresses channel the girls in the Brat Pack, but when you consider the preponderance of buyers for these looks were infants when Molly Ringwald trotted out her pink pastiche prom dress, you know it won't stop them from buying.

Neon and flowers notwithstanding, Posen has cachet that no-name rubber bracelets and plaid mini-kilts do not. That heavy dose of 80s trends failed to save Hot Topic or Claire's who both reported losses in the fourth quarter. Target predicts flat sales for January but things should look up at the end of the second quarter. No doubt sales of Rodarte (the designer line that hit stores on December 20th) help keep apparel sales strong for retailer. Gaultier and Posen will do the same.

Posen's posies may also brighten Sak's Fifth Avenue sales forecasts too. Expect his mid-priced line Z Spoke this spring as well, retailing at $78 and up.