Is Zara hurting fashion?
Ok you guys, let’s make this short and sweet. Like a twinkie. RIP. I never got to eat a last one, too…sad day.
Recently, The New York Times featured an article about Spanish-based fashion company Inditex, focusing on the company’s oldest and most successful brand, Zara. It detailed information about how Zara was able to rise to power and the strategy to keep the company thriving at the top of the market.
All of us at Patricia Field found the article very insightful and we discussed it during one of our meetings. If you haven’t already,check it out and get all the details.
Zara is the forerunner of the current trend known as “fast fashion” which is changing the market as we know it. Companies like H&M and Forever 21 follow similar models, but find themselves sprinting to keep up in terms of overall impact and financial gain. To quote the New York Times article about how Zara has impacted the world of fashion:
“They broke up a century-old biannual cycle of fashion,” Golsorkhi says. “Now, pretty much half of the high-end fashion companies” — Prada and Louis Vuitton, for example — “make four to six collections instead of two each year. That’s absolutely because of Zara.”
Strictly from a business standpoint, Zara is doing everything right. They have a strong relationship with their customers, which allows them to produce clothing specifically designed for what their client base asks for. Their garments are well made and embody extremely current, worldwide fashion trends. And most importantly, they are affordable.
Now what, you may ask, is wrong with that picture? Well, I like to look at things from a larger perspective.
Point blank: Zara’s globular domination of “fast fashion” is just another example of current society’s desire for quick quantity and up to the minute fashion. We want things fast and we want them now. We don’t care if the clothes we’re buying from Zara are copies of other label’s designs. We’re getting them for a fraction of the cost! (Christian Louboutin actually sued Zara for selling versions of their signature red-soled shoes in France but lost.)
I know what you’re thinking. All fashion is essentially copied: Starting with the high-end labels, and trickling down through department stores, and all the way to the likes of Wal-Mart. Sometimes it is reversed with street fashion working its way up.
Cue: scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Miranda hands Andy’s ass to her on a silver platter in the famous “pile of stuff” speech about her cerulean sweater.
Zara has become the perfect middle road between Miranda Priestly and the clearance bin at Andy Sachs’ “Casual Corner”.
MASS CONFORMITY TO THE EXTREME.
Isn’t mass conformity something that people should try to avoid?
The issue doesn’t actually lie in Zara itself. It lies in its’ customers, who tell Zara what they want. And what they want isn’t to be daring or take to risks when it comes to fashion. It’s to play it safe.
And frankly, playing it safe BORES THE HELL OUT OF ME. Excersise your creativity, its actually a lot of fun.
Think about it, is Zara hurting fashion?
Sorry, I know I said I would keep this one short. My apologies.
I still want a twinkie…
Photos courtesy of TheNewYorkTimes.com, butterboom.com, Zara.com
Written by Andy
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