Is It Just Us or Does Zara Look a Lot Like…

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by Leandra Medine
March 5, 2014
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This comes up every season, but still.

I know, I know, no — I know, that this comes up almost every time a new Zara lookbook leaks and that the last time I waxed poetic on the topic of its clothing and us — its consumers, an argument about my closing question erupted. I asked: if choice is a luxury and Zara purports a sense of choice, is the real luxury in shopping fast fashion?

See but the reason this keeps coming up is, quite frankly, because it keeps being mentionable.

So maybe you’re wondering what is mentionable, right? But just as I tweeted yesterday: if you’d told me this look book was actually Céline, I’d probably just nod in agreement with your remark and say something like, “So good,” in that mindless way fashion girls mean to say something to the effect of, “The crochet work evident on that masterful bolero seems derivative of Byzantine culture.”

Because I know it is Zara, though, I am more like, “So cool!” (which means “Woo! I can buy you!” plain and simple), and because five out of the 17 looks are currently languishing in my digital shopping cart, I do believe it’s time I start tugging at what twists the proverbial knickers of Internet commenters and ask this: should I feel morally conflicted about indulging in a blatant adventure in copyright? Do you?

REPLIES
  • http://theconcretelovesmyshoes.blogspot.com/ Jason Simone

    Do it! Buy all of it! The rest of us will be scoring some last-season Zara at Buffalo Exchange when our tax-returns arrive (I actually can’t wait). Sometimes I find it hard defending high-end designers who make their products completely unattainable to pretty much everyone. The median household (not individual) income in NYC is less than $50K… So we will see you at Zara.

  • http://www.gladracks.com Crystal Joy

    I dunno, girl. I mean, there is zero chance I will ever be able to afford something Céline unless I really, purposefully scrimp and save for it for a few years. It’s never going to be something I purchase on a whim because I *like* it. That’s the kind of purchase that says “this blouse is worth more than a fully functional car” or “this dress means more to me than paying off my credit card debt.” If I can’t buy those things, will I never be able to achieve that look? Even if I tried to make my own, isn’t it still bordering on the copyright issue? No, I think fashion is like music in that we’re all riffing on some similar theme or chord. If Zara makes minimalist clothes in the vein of Céline, that’s cool, because it can never BE Céline. It’s never going to have that feel of luxury and quality of material and construction and thoughtfulness of design.

    • Gabi

      Bravo!!! :)

    • Thamsa

      well said!

    • Marika

      damn right

    • http://www.nouveauclassical.org/ Sugar Vendil

      Beautifully articulated!

      (Speaking of music, if there’s anything to feel actually guilty about it’s for not paying for music. Anyway totally off topic…sorry, I’m a geeky classical musician :)

      Love this: “this dress means more to me than paying off my credit card debt.”

    • Terri Yang

      Agreed! If I ever get to wear Celine, I would definitely get a giddy tingly feeling inside that I would never be able to feel w/ Zara. I believe that can be said with most people.

    • Verónica Mello

      I totally get you, and I actually shop most of my clothes at Zara too. I live in Uruguay, where unless you’re into fashion, you have no freaking clue of who the hell Pilotto, Celine or McQueen are – among others… actually among every single other! Haha. We only got a Luis Vuitton and a Fendi store in Punta del Este, where posh old women buy the occasional bag, just for the sake of possessing them and showing off. Anyway, in order to get something you really like, you should have it shipped, which not only is expensive as hell, but you also have to pay taxes. Even if it weren’t the case, 20-30-year-olds’ salaries go from 700-1500 US$ a month, so you do the math!!
      My point here is that getting fancy designer clothes is almost impossible. So we have to settle for Zara. But the problem is a lot of the people who shop there have no idea of where their “inspiration” comes from, so they actually believe that Zara is a great brand, full of amazing design… which is just not fair, mostly considering how hard it is for our beloved designers to lauch a collection.

  • http://www.happyhoneylark.blogspot.com Kallie, Happy Honey & Lark

    Its just too bad they don’t have any sizing standards at Zara.
    Maybe there could be a way to license things like this so the everyday woman could afford to look stylish while not feeling like they’re taking part in the copycatting.

  • Rose

    Truly, isn’t that the end game at Zara—getting the designer aesthetic you’re obsessing over each season even when you don’t have the budge to be buying the entire Céline runway collection?

  • Amie Lou

    My sister brought two tops from Zara the other day, I told her they were pretty much exact copies of Alexander Wang, she was very happy indeed.

    • Chicspace/Marguerite

      I know which group of tops you mean, considering those too, especially since many of the Wang tops are sold out.

      • Amie Lou

        The quality is still great, they are very flattering on and she doesn’t mind sharing Zara, i’m not sure she would have felt the same about Wang! I think it’s ok to imitate so long as you style the items true to yourself, if you’re wearing something as is exactly the Celine or Zara lookbook way, then it’s mass consumption and everyone will end up looking the same. So long as you make it your own, own it.

  • QueenK

    Zara creates the perfect balance between high-street prices & high-end style! Its truly an awesome invention, and thank heavens we have it to be honest. Its so current, you can buy pieces from your nearest Zara store that are so on trend or that are just total classics. They have an act for giving the fast moving high street fashion, what they want.
    Everyone wants to wear Celine, Dior & Givenchy, but the reality is that not all of us are privileged enough to afford that every season. That’s why Zara was born, offering us stupendous & chic look-books like this ! :D

    http://www.facebook.com/skarmanspassion

    • Courtney Cartier

      I totally agree. I am pleased shopping at Zara and JCrew forever (my obsessions) because of the styles and quality they offer. The only beef I have with Zara is the terrible sizing issue. Since I don’t have a store near me, I have to order everything online. If it weren’t for free returns, I wouldn’t take that risk.

  • Chicspace/Marguerite

    When I walk through Zara, one of my entertainments is picking up an item and naming the designer from whose designs it is based. It’s fun to check the turn-around time, too (Zara’s is one of the fastest in the business). I tend to use Zara to grab trends that will last only a season or two (right now, it’s PINK). Wearing a sweatshirt skirt from there right now.

  • Marie

    Isn’t everything a copy of a copy of a copy? The “original” Céline is a copy of ethnic dress. Lest we forget Chloé’s Susanna stud bootie looking *strikingly* similar to a Versace studded bootie from the .80′s

  • Angel

    Zara`s ability to create high fashion looks are wonderful but concerning at the same time.
    they are almost like the Walmart of the fashion industry .
    Check out my Fashion Blog. NEW posts every sunday , tuesday , thursday and saturdays. http://haute-couture-hippie.blogspot.ca/

  • http://fakkefame.blogspot.com/ Kristina

    Is it just me or those models are just too anorexic?!

    • Tessa

      I’m not here to start the body shaming argument (that’s not what this post is for, Zara on ladies), but please just be mindful when throwing around the term “anorexic”. It’s a mental illness, not an adjective.

    • your mom

      some people are thin. I wish people would understand it’s just as rude/inappropriate to make anorexic as obese comments.

  • Mary

    Never mind if Zara is affordable or not, Celine, Alexander Wang etc are covetable BECAUSE Zara and the others copy them… if no one is copying your shit… its shit.. right?

    • Gabrielle

      Excellent answer! Just excellent.

  • JT

    But lets be honest, Zara isn’t taking away any business from those who frequent Celine and Wang. And those who buy Zara aren’t really in a position to buy Wang anyway.

    • Kristen

      so true!

  • mariah serrano

    More than copying high end design, which is a problem when are we going to concern ourselves with the under regulated factories these garments are being produced in? Zara clothes are produced in factories that have had issues with meeting regulations in the past (See: the explosion in Bangladesh) we need to rethink the value of our wardrobes as evolving collections rather than seasonal exhanges. By buying less and spending more (money, time laundering, maintaining and repairing, researching purchases, and thought) we can break free of fast fashion while still participating in fashion and dressing as an art.

    • Lotta @ eat-chic.com

      THANK YOU. I was hoping this would be brought up as it is a much more important issue.

  • Saakshi Kaushik

    INDULGE IN BLATANT ADVENTURE IN COPYRIGHT. I will allow you to do so. You are welcome. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Mia

    Perhaps instead of focusing on the “design copy” aspect, could we focus on the whole artisan based craft of fashion, or lack there of, because that’s how I have understood this question. At the fashion houses of Celine, Chloe, or whomever, there are real people, paid fair wages, using fabrics that have been made ethically, through century old techniques, requiring ample training and craftsmanship, it’s an art form, really. Whereas Zara is made in a factory, usually in developing nations, where the workers are exploited, and the fabric is toxic (according to Greenpeace) and the whole skill, the ingenuity, the finesse of making the garment becomes mere factory concocted garb for the masses. I for one, would rather buy things that have been hand made, irrespective of the label, the likes of Muzungu Sisters or other ethically sourced fashion labels that you know was made by maintaining ancient tradition, kind environmental practices and most of all sustainability. Even Etsy showcases local raw talent, the list of options is endless. I mean there’s more to life than looking uniformly cool, BUT if you can look uniquely cool AND do great things for the world that you live in, WOOHOO you’re awesome… !

    • Ali Kostoff

      I totally agree. It would be astounding if you could walk into the likes of say Topshop, H&M or even Forever 21 and find that the garments will last you past the end of the season. In direct relation I don’t know how I (the consumer) am supposed to be persuaded to shell out the big bucks when the entire contemporary collection at Neiman Marcus is “made in China”. When did the choice become between shit and shittier? I’m not saying all fashion houses are outsourcing but most with a contemporary line and even big wigs like Chanel have moved a majority of their manufacturing to developing countries.

    • Melissa

      I have to admit that as much as I want to appreciate the talents of the people that sells on Etsy, or brands that are sustainable, I just… I just never, ever find them aestethically pleasing. I don’t know why.

    • Tae

      Thank you for making this valid point. As an independent designer, it involves paying a local tailor/seamstress on top of the design work, hours and materials, easily driving up the cost into the upper hundreds. Most affordable clothing items are synthetic, non-breathable; even rayon which is naturally based is altered in extreme chemical conditions. The problem is that all of our manufacturing was invested overseas during the Nixon era. My mother worked as a seamstress for M. Wile in the 70s in Western New York; the facility is all but disappeared now as these domestic jobs have all been exported. American Apparel is one company that does affordable clothing at home. Until manufacturing is reinvested in the US, the only other option is making it yourself. This is a problem (etsy, etc) because their is not enough competition to improve quality and/or skill/craftsmanship. Also, all design majors move to NYC to design for a big company which produces all their clothing overseas, and the cycle repeats itself. More competition at home for better quality and a renewed infrastructure for manufacturing, and we might be a step closer to where we were 50 yrs ago.

    • mariah serrano

      brilliant, comment

  • Lucia

    AMANCIO ORTEGA ES EL AMO

  • Ania B

    there is no copyright in fashion as it turns out. buy away :D
    http://www.ted.com/talks/johanna_blakley_lessons_from_fashion_s_free_culture

  • delta

    i was at zara and wanted to take a picture ( to send to my daughter ) but the manager told it was “verboten” ( germany ) because they didnt want ANYBODY COPYING THEM….

    • cupcake6

      hilariously he didn’t realize that Zara are knockoffs

    • polkadotpawatblogspotdotcom

      How ironic hahaha. Just go to the changing room and snap it…

  • Mimi

    I think it’s fine because without fast fashion how would a trend exist now a days? Celine is doing something right if Zara is copying their designs/aesthetic. Plus if you could buy the pieces in a Celine line, wouldn’t you? I would but I can’t, so until I can I don’t think Celine is losing any business with me buying at Zara.

  • http://fashionmusingsdiary.blogspot.fr/ Miss J.

    Crucial debate: I can’t provide an answer!

  • unicornhunting

    It’s almost shameless how quickly and well, I might add that Zara copies the most wearable, and therefore coveted looks off the runway. Did you see the sweet little Wang-alike strappy summer top–damn! they’re quick. It’s what we all saw coming with the internet age, from runway image to hanger in lightening speed. Agree with most, in that those of us who want it but can’t afford the real deal, can play in the looks in a timely manner. It’s the divide between those that can afford the genuine article, then there’s us–the ‘early-as-we-can-adopters’ and there’s those that wait until the safety cones are down, full understanding and peer acceptance has transpired or simply everyone can buy a piece of it at their favorite high street store. Fashion democracy for all!

  • Heather Chester

    NO! Zara is the answer for everyone. Making a splurge on Celine is divine BUT dare I say we all feel BETTER when we get that dress for $150 instead of $3,000?! Yes, I said it and it’s true. I’ll save my coins for a bag and/or shoe splurge. Where money is best spent.

  • Blake

    I do see the similarities, but I can’t complain. Zara makes these chic looks affordable, and though they shouldn’t be copying other designers, having items as lovely as these that are in my price range pleases me endlessly.

    http://urbanoutfitting.blogspot.com/

  • Kandeel

    Zara is, essentially, the china town of high fashion. But damn do they do it good.

  • liz

    such an amazing post. glad someone said it!

    http://hashtagliz.com

  • Emily MacLeod

    I think Zara is good at walking the line. They definitely have their own aesthetic, but give you that wonderful European edge vibe that all of us crave, regardless of season. Not everyone is going to be able to afford Cèline, but if you can get something similar to incorporate into your style, that should be allowed. I have found in fashion that almost everything has been done, but designers can still make interesting tweaks to make it updated and relevant. Fashion is an evolving industry, and it is great that there are places like Zara we can depend on to turn out great clothes for a good price.

  • Gigi

    Zara’s lack of respect for intellectual property is definitely disturbing. What’s more morally troublesome, though, is HOW Zara and other fast-fashion chains manage to make their knock-offs at such low prices. Does that $40 top really seem so cheap when we acknowledge it was made at the cost of human dignity for a worker in Bangladesh? Here’s a great read on the subject (“what has been liberating for Western women is a system built literally on the backs of women in the developing world”) http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/the-high-cost-of-cheap-fashion#6iIAgKIcB6lehHl2.99

    Personally, my solution is to get my (affordable) designer fix at consignment shops. You’d be amazed by the labels you find at those places – though they won’t be current pieces, they’re often still on-trend or at least great basics.

  • CA

    Accessible products make all the difference in a fashion-forward wardrobe for the everyday girl. However to say that high-end designers make their products completely unattainable is a generic statement. I´m also a designer and to make something really, really incredibly beautiful takes a lot of money and time. It´s not so easy to sum up. I work in corporate fashion but I´m also for supporting artisans and designers. So yes and no or just make it yourself.

  • Ranim

    I already have the floral dress — so ahead of the curve here. And now it’s almost warm enough to wear it without tights. Although apparently “black tights are in.”

  • M.

    I remember on season I bought a dress on zara that it was exactly like one of miu miu collection. Miu Miu sue them so they had to pull out the dress and I was very happy about it, I was one of the few lucky ones that got it!
    I am from Spain, and everyone buys in Zara, so if you have to go to a fancy party, never wear zara… there will be like 3 or more ladies with the same thing.

    • Inês

      Ahah as a Portuguese, I have to agree with you. EVERYBODY shops at Zara here (it’s cheaper in Portugal and Spain). You always find someone with the same clothes as you…

  • http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr/ Mafalda

    I honestly can’t afford many things I love, so Zara is a great option for me, I don’t feel conflicted at all. I just found a pair of perfect mules for 70€ and they’re as good as Wangs as far as I’m concerned…

    Mafalda ❤
    http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr

  • http://www.arieleloewe.com/ Ariele Loewe

    To a certain extent high street brands have always copied designer labels; or rather I should say adapt pieces to suit their market/pricing that they see during show season, and at trade shows etc. It’s just that Zara doesn’t seem to be adapting that much :)

  • Paul Julch

    I think it’s completely ok! :) Zara is making cool style affordable – and really, can they copyright the lay of a fold or the use of a buckle? So many designers get the same idea at the same time that it would be impossible to hope for complete individuality from each and every one. So if there’s a little inspiration (aka borrowing) from a high end designer, so be it. It lets us little people indulge…

  • Terri Yang

    Buy it! Design is actually a small process of building a fashion empire. Operation, marketing and all of that supports the designs for it actually being able to work in retail. So really, buying Zara, it’s more like supporting the company’s business ethics and etc.

    Besides, I feel a lot of Zara garments only good look on a hanger or in ads. Their garments (a good portion) are poorly fitted and poorly constructed. So when you are sitting across the brunch table from someone, they know it’s Zara, not Celine.

  • http://itzzynitzzy.blogspot.in/ ItzzyNitzzy

    Let people who can afford Wang wear Wang and who can afford Zara buy Zara. End of story. Everybody Wins!

  • Jennifer Merchant

    I don’t think it’s as much a copyright problem with fast fashion (although as an artist myself that is a can of worms for another day) but it is a huge problem as to how the clothing Is produced, and the effects that our fast fashion mentality have on the way our society is valuing products in general. All people seem to care about is being trendy and buying new stuff as often as possible to stay on trend. But at what cost are we able to do this? Sure, the clothes are ‘cheap’ but what about the waste that is created by our over consumption? What about the unfortunate soles that slave away in factories at low wages to make them? Quality has certainly taken a turn for the worst, even in so called ‘luxury’ goods these days the price goes up and the quality goes down. Fast fashion is convenient and oh so tempting, but I urge more of you to see the bigger picture and put more thought into what you buy. Why do we feel the need to have so many clothes and always buy that new thing everyone is talking about? I love fashion and putting together great outfits, let’s show a bit of creativety and learn to work with what we have and accessorize to create differe t looks. Save our money and buy pieces that mean something. Why do we all want to follow so.e trend in the first place? I personally don’t care what’s popular or trendy, I wear what I like and feel comfortable in, I wear what reflects my individual style and personality. I hate to break it to a lot of you out there, but jumping on some bandwagon and adopting a style because it is ‘in’ is less a way to express yourself and more a way to make a quick buck for some giant corporation that doesn’t give a fuck about us in the first place.

  • sam

    ok, this is my thing. All Zara stuff looks better in their virtual lookbook than it does in real life. Like, I’ll go in being all like OMGiwantitall, but then I feel the material…look at the seaming thats already coming undone and read the label that says “100% polyester” on everything and think….this wont last me more than half a dozen wears!
    I like a fun, trendy, chic wardrobe but i dont like it when my zippers break and my clothes look like they are years old after a couple of washes…so my problem with Zara is not the copyright issue, its their quality.

  • Charmystique

    There’s a reason why Zara’s considered high-street fashion and Celine’s well, Celine. I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with Zara having Celine inspired designs. TBH, I’m pretty sure if people could afford Celine, and didn’t mind spending more than what they earn in a month on a pair of pants, they would. Unfortunately, reality is not so… Hence there will always be a market for Zara.

    My nitpick about Zara is their sizing issues. XS years ago and XS today is not the same, which is why as a consumer I’ve stopped frequenting them because their clothes simply do not fit. What’s the point of having clothes look good only in lookbooks, and not in real life?!

    http://charmystique.blogspot.com/

  • http://morethanglasses.co.uk More than Labels

    Hi Leandra,
    Of course not! Zara’s items are not exactly the same as the designers’, but are inspired by those, so i don’t see any problem. If it will make you happy, buy them. :) So, no need to feel morally conflicted!

    thanks for sharing!
    xx
    morethanlabels.co.uk

  • http://lachiquitamissi.com/ lachiquitamissi

    Agreed I blogged regarding the same issue of fashion week Yes we celebrate it but who can f$^*899 afford that in the real world? I adore Zara fashion looks the real mainstream can purchase That has aided to their great success

  • Dancingcheektocheek

    Don’t worry about it.

  • http://beautytimebreak.blogspot.com The Beauty Break

    I can assure you that anyone who walks into zara or buys an “inspired” mulberry bag from h&m doesn’t really care about the morality behind copyrights. And while the lucky ones can have a closet full of celine, some others are just happy that zara copied it all. Personally I don’t think celine will be relevant forever. Say I buy a Chanel handbag. It will be an investment but if I were to sell it later on it will keep its value. A celine bag is not an hermes. So zara will do.

  • mads

    i don’t buy fast fashion for the same reasons i don’t eat fast food.

  • tatiana

    Zara is easily accessible to many international
    markets, and when their campaigns are almost instantly spread across all social
    media platforms, they should at least attempt to have their own production of
    on-trend clothing – not exact replicas of their runway inspirations. I
    understand that not everyone will be able to go out and spend a considerable
    amount of money on runway trends, but indulging in an exact replica of a
    designer item is essentially aspiring to have the status symbol that the runway
    piece represents. I would be much happier in making a purchase that follows the
    same trend as the fashion giants and not just a copy.

  • johanna

    A typical trickle- down effect…

    http://www.unt.se/johannasmode

  • anonon

    I care more about quality construction, fit, and fair labor practices.

  • http://www.amusedblog.com/ Amber

    When Celine produces what “seems derivative of Byzantine culture” are they being indulgent? Who was it that said all creativity is a form of plagiarism/copyright? I can’t remember, but what I do remember is this very debate erupting at my art school: a girl went through the trashed photography scraps in our photo lab and created a collage. Students were outraged. Some even removed their photographs from the piece. Were they destroying artwork, or simply taking what was theirs?

    • Leandra Medine

      fascinating. i’m erring on the side of destroyed artwork. to take a bunch of scraps that have been clearly abandoned and therefore conceivably up-for-ownership and then to reappropriate them in an way that simply utilizes the scraps to make an original point seems like fair game to me. how did you side?

      • http://www.amusedblog.com/ Amber

        I was one of the photography students who had their art work reappropriated. I sided with “bitch stole my work”. The stance was even though the pieces had been abandoned, there was still talent, and a part of the “personal self” that had gone into creating what had eventually been thrown away. I threw away pieces of my artwork because I no longer wanted them – and I quickly learned that by throwing them away I didn’t want anyone else to have them either. It changed the way “scraps” were handled in the art department: students burned everything that they no longer wanted, OR there was a special section where we could “donate” unwanted pieces for others to use. It brings to the H&M scandal where employees were caught destroying and throwing away unsold designer collaborations.

        • babs

          That’s so art school.

  • Martine

    Copyright? Honestly, Celine hardly invented minimalism this last season. Considering how heavily fashion is based on copying and reinterpreting I don’t think this qualifies. Perhaps designers should pay all of us, because generally they copy what a lot of us start doing ahead of them, and then put their own twist on it.

  • http://dieforstyle.blogspot.co.uk/ Filipa Moreira

    Great post, well said.

    XX Fi
    http://dieforstyle.blogspot.co.uk

  • rehtse

    there is currently a gap in intellectual property law, so this sort of copying is not illegal. specifically, copyright law has a statutory bar that excludes “useful articles.” this refers to items that have an intrinsic utilitarian function. so, although some exceptions exist, clothing is generally excluded from copyright protection. most fashion designers rely on trademark and trade dress to protect their brands. trademark and trade dress cover things like your logo and packaging; characteristics that identify the source of origin of the product. there is, of course, a difference between copying and counterfeit. the latter is illegal and refers to an exact imitation that is intended to deceive, like creating a wallet with the LV monogram and passing it off as an authentic LV wallet.

    ucla law professor kal raustiala wrote a book called “the knock-off economy,” which you may be interested in reading. the book discusses the relationship between imitation and innovation and argues that creativity can thrive even when there is rampant copying.

  • http://www.myfairvanity.com/ My Fair Vanity

    I’m not at all concerned with mass market brands knocking off expensive ones, but I’m very concerned with who really pays the price for cheap, fast fashion from places like Zara, because I know that it’s someone similar in age and gender to me, but who most likely is 1. working in dangerous conditions for unconscionably low pay and 2. operating in a legal environment in which there is no limit to the number of hours they can be forced to work, or days they must work when sick, and on and on.

    Companies like Zara and H&M might be trying to clean up their acts, but that doesn’t change the fact that their business models (and the low prices we are so ‘lucky’ to have access to) rest upon the exploitation of people who have very little choice in how they work to feed themselves. When so many labels (at each price point, high to low) manage to choose sustainable materials, establish positive relationships with factories abroad, and pay fair wages, it seems less and less believable that the dominant model is simply “the way it has to be.” I know that here in developed countries, we can do better.

    We can choose clothing that feels good because we know the people who made it were treated with respect and dignity, just as we would want to be treated. No one wants a young girl halfway across the world to die in a factory fire for their discounted GAP t-shirt, and if we make more conscious choices in our purchases, check the labels and ask probing questions in our favorite stores, manufacturers will listen. Our dollars are powerful, ladies and gents, and we can use them for good or evil. If you’d like to learn more about stylin, cutting edge fashion brands that are fair trade, use safe, sustainable materials, or employ American workers, follow along with me as I try to do the same over on My Fair Vanity. I’m far from perfect, but I am doing my best, and that’s all we can do. :)

  • plastic

    I worked for INDITEX as a “designer” a few years ago, and let me tell you it was the saddest thing I´ve ever done. Almost the 98% of my work through the time I worked there was copying and filling the measure boards for sending to chinese suppliers. The work mainly consists on travelling around the world, buying all kid of samples (from Celine to things found in market). Them comes the theme about Inditex workers. When you talk about low-cost markets, this means everything in the production chain is actually LOW COST! And when I say everything, its everything. We had to buy even a glass of water in the office! Nothing was for free there, even though we had to go to work to a small village far away from Barcelona (called Tordera).
    Since then no one in my family buys anything form INDITEX!
    The image its from where all that “fashion” comes from. The ugliest place you can imagine!

  • Ideal Cheese

    Phoebe Philo kept the Resort 2014 collection ultra-confidential as long as possible to avoid getting copied by Zara—to no avail, of course, because Zara has their sh*t together and they move FAST. But all of this begs the question: how would Phoebe feel if Zara chose to copy another label instead? It’s a big Catch-22 because imitation is and will always be the best form of flattery.

  • http://thoughtsofglam.com/ ThoughtsofGlam

    Such a fan of Zara and I’m so glad they’ve taken a page from Celine’s book. High fashion look without the price is always a winner.

    http://www.thoughtsofglam.com

  • http://hautemind.wordpress.com/ Ashley Rabin

    Loved this post and wrote a much longer article on the nature of the trend beast for my own blog: http://hautemind.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/trendtrafficking/. As a writer and fashion designer, I actually go to Zara at the beginning of every season to find out what myself, and everyone else is going to be lusting after. Every designer wants the chance to be authentic and be praised for it, but none of that matters if the clothes don’t sell. Zara may not be reinventing fashion, but they make it affordable, which is something that EVERY company in the industry wants to achieve. Just because they make it look effortless, doesn’t mean it actually is. So my verdict? Don’t feel guilty for patronizing their stores just because they’re so damn good at what they do :)

  • ChaCha

    I have so many friends who if it does not have a label on it they are not buying it! Stupid no!? I have Zaras’ flagship fifth avenue location right on the corner of my office and go in at least once or twice a week…almost always come out with something. If there is some designer duds that I really really really want..I may wait til it goes on sale if it doesn’t…i have to really think about shelling out the bucks, or on the flip side I can go to Zara and get a pretty good copy. It’s all in how you wear it ladies. If you wear it like its Zara it will be Zara (not that thats a bad thing) but, if you where it likes its Chanel…well then Chanel it is!!! I also just recenlty found out that Massimo Dutti is the high end branch of the Zara family…not so bad there either…check it out.

  • john
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