Nothing pleases us Semple girls more than daydreaming about designer purchases but if it is a quick fashion fix you are after then you just can’t beat the British High Street. Whilst some stores are more miss than hit (naming no names but we all know who they are) some go from strength to strength, and none more so than international brand Zara.
Created by Amancia Ortega, the first Zara store opened in Spain in 1975 and featured reasonably priced clothes that were inspired by higher-end products. From these humble beginnings Zara has become an international fashion brand, as part of the Inditex group, with a total of 1770 stores around the world and is a real Spanish success story. The brand became known for leading rather than following, and they continue to sing to their own tune today; ignoring their competitors who pour huge sums of money into advertising, Zara prefer to invest the money into opening new stores and letting their products speak for themselves.
As well as their unusual advertising policy, Zara is also breaking boundaries with their production too; it is rumoured that the time taken for Zara to get a product from development to shop floor is just two weeks which is staggering when compared to the industry average of six months. This is in no doubt aided by the fact that unlike other retailers, Zara controls most of the processes from designing and manufacturing through to distribution. It’s not just on the shop floor where they are hitting the trends either; Zara has embraced the green agenda wholeheartedly and produced an ego-friendly management model that aimed to reduce energy consumption by 20%. They also use ecological fabrics and organic cotton in their products.
Innovation and green agenda aside, it is the products that are the real strength behind the store. Most of their stores offer both womenswear and menswear collections as well as a children’s section and for true Zara fans you can also decorate your home from their homeware range. The default style at Zara is relaxed smart casual with a slight androgynous edge. The main line collection also features a huge choice of tailoring and statement dresses but always with the emphasis on current trends and styles. The TRF collection has a younger more urban vibe and often a nod towards modern grunge sneaks in at this time of year.
In summer don’t miss Zara’s collection of cute dresses and relaxed office wear and in autumn shop there for chunky knits, skinny trousers/jeans and your statement winter coat. Their accessories are always dotted around the store so keep your eyes peeled as their shoe and bag collection is always spot on.
Over the years Zara has established itself as high street giant that provides quality, statement fashion at affordable prices. Learn from our mistakes; if you see something you like it won’t be there for long so snap it up or spend the season regretting it.
By Samantha Vandersteen