Lori L. Tharps and Clarissa Cruz
July 21, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Thanks to designer Michael Graves’ ultra-whimsical collection of teapots and toasters, the Minneapolis-based discount store Target has become a leader in the cheap-chic revolution. But a certain pop-culture seal of approval (think Wal-Mart as the setting of Where the Heart Is) had eluded the store until it landed smack-dab in the middle of the hottest show on TV. In episode 4, Survivor tribes competed for a trunk full of creature comforts courtesy of Target. How did this bull’s-eye of a product placement come about? ”We really got involved early on,” says spokeswoman Patty Morris about the store’s sponsorship of the show. ”It was great to see the following week after the trunk was dropped, the [Target-logo-bedecked] parachute that the trunk came in on was used as a tent.” With this cameo and the current crop of Warhol-style ads, an entirely different group of island dwellers is now drooling over Target. At the store’s seventh annual fall fashion event in New York City last week, many no doubt lamented the absence of a Tar-zhay — as hipsters pronounce it — on the isle of Manhattan (the closest store is 45 minutes away in Queens). ”As you can imagine, the property is pretty scarce,” says Morris. ”If we ever opened a store there, it would be a great opportunity to have…fashion editors and home-decor editors…really get in there and embrace it.” Or just air-kiss it.

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