I got fully excited thinking how come I forgot about it since I have been waiting for this store to open here in Phoenix for months now.. The store construction began back in May and I have been keeping an eye on the launch date, but then somehow I missed it. Anyways, better late than never! So I decided to go to the store and check out their fall collection.
Now before we go any further in this present day story, let me give you a background scenario here. If you are a regular at my blog, you would know that I moved to Phoenix no more than 14 months ago. I was living a happy life in New Delhi when this big move happened. And if I remember clearly, a Zara store launched in New Delhi a few months before we moved. Well, back then, I was new to blogging and had heard a lot of good reviews about Zara.
If you must know, in Indian market, brands like Zara, Mango and Forever 21 are considered to be high-street and expensive. We, the current day generation grew up buying local Indian brands, shopping from flea markets etc. And now with the introduction of international brands like Zara and Mango, we are also getting to taste international fashion. Since these brands have already marked their presence all over the world, we take them as it is, without giving much of a personal thought about is that hype really worth it? So now you know, that an average Indian fashion blogger would consider it a treat to shop at Zara considering the expensive stuff they sell, and the way we Indians like to show-off our expensive purchase items!
Undoubtedly high-street brands like Forever 21, Benetton etc. are doing a pretty good business everywhere, and the story is not different in India too.
On that note, not quite a long ago, Leandra Medine from the famous Man Repeller, wrote quite a good article on her blog about Zara, how they copy designs from the designers collection and sell them at retail prices. When I read that post then, I thought how can she write such a thing for such a big brand specially when the whole world is going ga-ga over the stuff they make! May be I was wrong then.. We shall come to that..
Anyways, so what I am saying here is I had a lot of hopes and expectations from Zara. So I finally gave in to the urge and went to the mall to check out the store on a first-hand basis. I really loved the interiors and the merchandise collection in the store. But when I tried a few pieces, I was really, really.. really disappointed. Now, I am not saying that everything on the racks was useless, I am just saying that I could not find the balance between the quality/fit of the clothes and the high price they were tagged for! I tried three different skirts from their latest collection and none of them fit! Since they sell products in alphabetical sizes (S,M,L etc..), they should consider putting some sort of stretch in the fabric of skirts, pants etc. I am usually a size M in U.S. but even their Large size skirts did not fit me – it was either too lose or tight! The fit was not at all flattering. And that happened with most of the clothing I tried that day.. Nothing worked for me. Of course the models make everything look so good in the catalog, but in real life it’s not always the same!
Well, all my eagerness and excitement faded at that very moment.. I was so disappointed. Anyways, there were few good pieces too, like their leather jackets etc. but since they were priced so high, I did not make an effort to try them on..
So I guess, Leandra was actually right. Only imitating designer pieces is not enough. Quality and fit is important too, at least for me.. And what’s wrong in asking, if I am ready to pay for it! Fast fashion means nothing if the brands are compromising on the quality of their stuff. We love what’s new, we get obsessed with it and then we abuse it for a few months and then we are ready to throw it off, just when a new collection is launched? Is that all fashion is about? What happened to the timeless and evergreen fashion pieces? What happened to re-using stuff.. over and over again?
Not only this, fast fashion has also resulted in over expenditure. We tend to spend more than we need on clothes, shoes etc.. We have to have that particular skort, or that pink coat or those loafers everyone is wearing! And as soon as something new comes in the market, the center of attention jumps from one to another so fast that we hardly get enough time to shelve off that skort or that pink coat in some hidden corner of our closet! Now the question is – Should ‘WE’ be leading the trends or the ‘TRENDS’ be leading us? Thoughts?