Zara is today a household name for being one of the best “fast fashion” companies that provides affordable fashion to the masses. It is part of the broader Inditex’s brands — Zara, Zara Home, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear and Uterqüe and they all follow the same model of making fashionable clothes and accessories following the latest trends that are well made and far cheaper than most other expensive brands.
The New York Times published a nicearticle about Zara and fast fashion that I highly recommend reading. Here are some insights from that article:
1. Fast fashion like Zara is picked up by demand and consumer comments. If a lot of people comment to the store attendants that they like red pants, this is sent to the headquarters. If the same input is coming from stores across the country/world, it is a trend and Zara is going to act on it.
2. Celebrities like Kate Middleton have been photographed wearing Zara. It no longer seems to attract a snobbish look that Zara is just imitation. They indeed have mastered the process innovation rather than product innovation. They are able to identify trends quick and act fast on it to make money and sales.
3. Fashion trends are global according to Zara. This is good news for this company because they can mass produce the latest trend for all cities. They say fashion in New York to London, San Paulo to Paris is pretty much the same. It is interesting to note how soon fashion trends travel the globe. Local tastes and preferences matter little.
4. However, there definitely ARE some local preferences. According to Zara, Brazilian girls prefer bright colors and Parisians use more of black. Wonder what New Yorkers tend to prefer!
5. Fashion follows trends based on neighborhoods and not countries. This is an interesting fact. It is possible that fashion trends are different 5 blocks from each other but similar to one half way around the world. Isn’t that sort of fascinating?
According to Zara, the store on Fifth Avenue in Midtown New York “is more similar to the store in Ginza, Tokyo, which is an elegant area that’s also touristic,” he said. “And SoHo is closer to Shibuya, which is very trendy and young. Brooklyn now is a wildly trendy place to go, while Midtown — well, no New Yorker is actually shopping on Fifth Avenue now.” The buyers there are suburban tourists, he meant.
6. The path of a fashion trend is complex and interesting. It doesn’t mean that people all over the world are reading the same fashion magazines and therefore buying the same fashion. Instead, it is a dynamic mix between what stores like Zara sell, what their customers tell them they like and of course, global fashion trends in general seen through the eyes of celebrities and fashion magazines.
7. According to Zara, trends for kids are the same as that for adults. Isn’t that interesting!
What are your thoughts?
Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes