I think the Band of Outsiders cookie cutter set is *dare I say it* a mass marketed work of art. It's sheds comical light on the entire collaboration and exploits the idea of infusing "designer"-ness into holiday-specific kitchen items. In all honesty, the hyped-up entire *epic* Neiman Marcus + Target collaboration has, in my opinion, exposed the illusory appeal of getting designer duds at affordable prices. It forces us to ask ourselves: what creative roles do designers have in the cultural and economic market, and why we pay more money for what they create?
At the end of the day, this collaboration has been underwhelming in sales because it reflects the over-saturation of the religious allure of the "name-brand" for the status-concerned consumer out there. While many of the items are unique and wouldn't normally be found at Target, it also seems that the price increase for such items might not justify their value, making even the most aesthetically-inclined customer think twice about a X for Target product. The existence of these objects, marketed, produced, and deliciously packaged as they are, force consumers to choose between the needs and wants of their everyday lives-- and more, to distinguish between what's timeless and what's trendy.
Perhaps not consciously, it seems to me that people have started to see that craftsmanship actually plays a role in the value of objects. In fact, this collections points out how mass market consumers interpret the significance of the design process for private versus public objects. It also raises questions about the integrity, vision, and creative choices that fashion-industry leaders make even in regards to such quotidian objects. Ultimately, I think the irony of $29.99 Band of Outsiders' cookie cutters say it all-- they probably knew that they would still make a profit even if these little cutters ended up sale bins on the end caps of kitchen aisles in Targets across America.