Exclusive: Every Pic From Target's New Plus Line, AVA & VIV

Target's relationship with plus clothing over the last two years has not been a particularly smooth one. First, the whole Manatee Gray thing happened, causing plus shoppers to take to the Internet to voice their entirely justified displeasure at the line's name. Next, a dress shot on a maternity model was mislabeled as plus size. Then, the plus collections started to disappear from stores altogether, with signs promising a "Countdown to New" popping up in place of actual clothes. In August, a blogger began a boycott after Target's designer collaboration failed to include extended sizes. When it appeared the brand was finally getting with the program by offering plus sizes in its Lilly Pulitzer x Target collection, it only made pieces in an 18 and above available online. Now, its latest plus move might just incite more emotions than all of its past blunders have, and this time, it's the good kind.

You may have seen hints about the brand's forthcoming plus collection, AVA & VIV, but we've got the first look at the entire first drop of the spring selection. "This isn't pieces that have been cobbled together," explains Target spokesperson Joshua Thomas. "This is a collection that has been designed specifically for a woman who loves fashion, who is looking for stylish basics, who is looking for trend pieces that will help her stand out, and she is plus-sized. This does not start with, 'You are plus-sized so you should shop here.'"

Another main difference between AVA & VIV and Target's past plus attempts is that this one won't be hidden somewhere between the maternity section and the bathroom. "This is going to be a standalone brand in the store," says Thomas. "We feel like the in-store experience will be exponentially more compelling." Target will now have a well-defined plus area that shoppers can easily locate and peruse (and new plus mannequins!). The AVA & VIV collection will live there, as well as on Target.com, and will include the expanded sizes already offered for in-house brands like Mossimo and Merona.

Perhaps also unlike some that came before it, this line is prioritizing fit in a major way. "There are two aspects of fit when it comes to any garment," Thomas explains: "the technical fit — like, is the circumference the right size — but then there's expression of fit. How does it look on the body? How does it drape?" 

"And, because we have one team now that's devoted entirely to AVA & VIV, they're not just focused on 'Is this piece sized up to a 20?' It's now, 'How do we want this garment [to] come to life?' So, I think that's something that you will notice immediately with the collection. We're honestly obsessed with [the fit]." 

Target was also focused on keeping prices low; every item costs less than $80. Says blogger Gabi Gregg, who modeled for the lookbook, "[Plus women] rarely have the option to shop in person and try things on, so I'm very happy Target is dedicating more floor space to a youthful, fun, plus-size line. I'm also really excited about the price point, because I know so many women are looking for affordable, trend-driven options in their size."

For blogger Chastity Garner, who also models for the lookbook, her relationship with Target hasn't always been as collaborative. It was only in August that she penned her widely shared boycott letter about her disappointment in the Altuzarra collaboration. Though AVA & VIV had already been in the works for over a year, Garner's post still caught Target's attention. "I called her the day after she posted about her boycott," Thomas says, "and said 'Tell me more about this.' The fact of the matter is, any time you get a guest with a strong point of view, whether it is positive or negative, we want to hear that because it will make us better."

Gregg and fellow blogger Nicolette Mason (also featured in the lookbook) are both brand collaboration veterans, and this opportunity allowed all three bloggers to contribute their ideas and suggestions. "Gabi, Chastity, and myself were brought in to work on social media strategies, give feedback on the collection, and model in the AVA & VIV lookbook," Mason says. "Though we were brought in once the first season's collection was already designed and produced, the team was very eager to get our honest feedback on the styles and incorporate our likes and dislikes into future deliveries."

Although the launch of this line may feel like too little, too late to some within the plus community, Gregg doesn't see it that way. "I think I'm more understanding of what a brand goes through and how much effort they are putting in." She goes on to say, "So often, people are reactionary and assume retailers aren't trying, but when you get to meet and collaborate with the team who is working so hard and really cares so much about their customer, you know that a lot more goes into these things than people think."

The complete AVA & VIV collection will be available online on February 22, and there will be a rolling launch in stores beginning in mid-February — and then the products will stay there. Says Thomas, "These collections are designed seasonally, and they are updated in-store monthly. It is not set it and forget it, it is constant newness." We probably don't have to say this last bit at all, but keep reading to see the entire collection: It's going to be good. 

More style news:
Is This Plus-Size Trend Actually BAD For Body Image?
Target Has A New Plus Sized Line And I Have A Lot Of Feelings About It
This Plus-Size Line Wants To Break The Fast-Fashion Cycle
How To Dress For YOUR Body
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
Gabi Gregg in a $24.99 button-down blouse and $29.99 palazzo pants.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
Chastity Garner wears a $34.99 maxi dress.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
Gregg in a basic $10 pink tank, a $39.99 shoulder-slung blazer, and $29.99 printed pants.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
Nicolette Mason wears a $22.99 pink blouse, a $27.99 cardigan, and a $24.99 wrap skirt.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
That same wrap skirt on Garner, worn with a $21.99 top.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
Mason wears a $27.99 tunic dress and a $44.99 army jacket.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
Garner wears a $34.99 jumpsuit and $39.99 denim jacket.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
Mason in the same $39.99 denim jacket, $24.99 crocheted blouse in black, and $24.99 joggers.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
Gregg wears $29.99 distressed jeans and a $24.99 crocheted top.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
Gregg in a super-chic $21.99 button-down and $29.99 pants.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
Mason wears a $27.99 black-striped dress and $39.99 striped blazer.
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Garner wears a $27.99 dress and $24.99 chambray shirt.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
Gregg in a $21.99 top and $29.99 palazzo pant.
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Photo: Courtesy of Target.
AVA & VIV V-Neck Tee in Lilac, $10, available at Target; AVA & VIV V-Neck Tee in Beige, $10, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Denim Tunic in Medium Wash, $27.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Button-Down Top in Black/Cream Print, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Button-Down Top in Navy Floral Print, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Tulip Skirt in Black/White Stripe, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Jacket in Olive, $44.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Button-Down Top in Turquoise, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Cardigan in Gray, $27.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Cardigan in Navy, $27.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Blazer in Gray, $39.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Jumpsuit in Black, $34.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Blouse in Floral Print, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Flutter Top in Blue/Purple Floral Print, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Sweater in Coral, $27.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Flutter Sleeve Top in Black/White Print, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Sweater in Turquoise, $27.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Flutter Sleeve Top in Green/Navy Print, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Blouse in Green, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Blazer in Black/White Stripe, $39.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Top with Crochet Lace Detail in Cream, $22.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Top with Crochet Lace Detail in Black, $22.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Top with Crochet Lace Detail in White, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Top with Crochet Lace Detail in Black, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Palazzo Pant in Black/Cream Print, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Palazzo Pant in Black/Cream Floral Print, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Palazzo Pant in Navy Floral Print, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Bermuda Short in Black/White Print, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Bermuda Short in Black, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Maxi Dress in Heather Gray/Black Stripe, $34.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Blouse in Yellow/Green/Blue Print, $22.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Blouse in Coral, $22.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Blouse in Pink/Purple Floral Print, $22.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Dress in Coral/White Stripe, $27.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Denim Dress in Medium/Light Wash, $27.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Dress in Black/White Stripe, $27.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Top in Black, $21.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Top in Coral, $21.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Top in Turquoise, $21.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Top in Gray, $21.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Ankle Pant in Black/White Print, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Ankle Pant in Black, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Ankle Pant in Black/White, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Ponte Pant in Black, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Tank Top in Gray, $10, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Tank Top in Blue, $10, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Tank Top in Turquoise, $10, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Tank Top in Coral, $10, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Denim Jacket in Medium Wash, $39.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Ankle Jean in Cream, $34.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Skinny Denim Jean in Medium Wash, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Denim Short in Light Wash, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Denim Short in Dark Wash, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Bermuda Denim Short in Light Wash, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Maxi Skirt in Gray/Black Stripe, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Maxi Skirt in Coral/White Stripe, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Maxi Skirt in Black, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Top in Blue, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Top in Coral, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Denim Top in Medium Wash, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Denim Top in Light Wash, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV V-Neck Tee in Beige, $10, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV V-Neck Tee in Coral $10, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Ankle Jean in Light Wash, $34.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Skinny Jean in Dark Wash, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV V-Neck Tee in Lilac, $10, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV V-Neck Tee in Gray, $10, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV V-Neck Tee in Turquoise, $10, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV V-Neck Tee in White, $10, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Button-Down Shirt in Blue, $21.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Button-Down Shirt in Black, $21.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Button-Down Shirt in Coral, $21.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Chambray Shirt in Light Wash, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Legging in Black, $17.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Leisure Jogger Pant in Gray, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Cowlneck Shirt in Dark Gray, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Top in Navy/Black, $19.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Cowlneck Shirt in Light Gray, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Top in Black/White, $19.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV One-Piece Swim Suit in Black/ White Print, $39.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Racerback Tankini in Teal/Black/ Purple Print, $27.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Tankini in Coral/White Stripe, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Tankini in Coral/White/Green Floral Print, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV One-Piece Suit in Fushia, $34.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Bandeau Tankini in Aqua/Cream/ Fushia Print, $29.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Tankini in Black/White Print, $27.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Bikini Top in Coral/White/Green Floral Print, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Bikini Top in Black/White Chevron Print, $24.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Boy Short Bottom in Black, $22.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Hipster Swim Bottom in Black, $22.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV High-Waist Bottom in Black, $22.99, available at Target.
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AVA & VIV Skirt Bottom in Black, $22.99, available at Target.
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