Sunday, November 25, 2012

ChiChi Chic at Zara

My Birthday was this week and my siblings took me to dinner!
Leopard Print & Color Block Coat
 INTRODUCTION.  Hi lovelies! I’m really excited about this weeks’ Spotlight Site, This is the first site I've reviewed for you that I have VERY mixed feelings on. On one hand, I feel like Zara really encompasses my personal style. Zara is in my price range, they have the quality I’m looking for and most importantly the look I’m trying to achieve! Also, Zara is eco-friendly and Animal –friendly as well. If you check out their information page they explain that Zara as a company focuses on saving energy, recycling, they use eco-friendly fabrics, make PVC-Free footwear, and transport using biodiesel. They also do not sell products tested on animals and only use animal hides that come from food farms. On the OTHER hand, I have recently read some very disturbing articles about Zara's point of view on the American Market and why they have absolutely no plans to expand their physical stores to American shores.
Studded Platform Sandal

STYLE. Zara is so fabulous. I think it's chic, modern, and very smart. The garments are cool and collected. When I'm wearing a piece from Zara, I feel posh and confident.

PRICE. Quite reasonable. An occasional coat may cost $300 but generally their most of their pieces, like dresses and jackets, run between $75-$150.

Puff Sleeve Dress
WEAR-ABILITY. Zara is not a juniors line at all. I wouldn’t call it mature either, because that word, to me, implies frumpy. Zara is very cool, very chic and I think their target market is probably women ages 25 to 40 years old. However, that doesn’t mean women who do not fall into that age range cannot wear Zara. There are plenty of age appropriate garments for everyone.

SIZE&FIT. They run small! I recently read an article about how Zara caters to a European body type. The article also said that Zara has been quoted saying that they will not be expanding their stores into the U.S. because the American Market is basically to fat and not fashion forward. This obviously offended me. I love Zara's style and collection but after reading that article I actually returned my latest purchase from them. I will be writing a paper on European Sizing Vs. American Sizing for my Fashion Merchandising class and I will be sure to post it. I plan to reference this article about Zara. HERE is the link to the article I read. 

QUALITY&CONSTRUCTION. I think the quality is very beautiful, however I have read many, many reviews with complaints of "inferior products" and "poor construction." I have only been shopping with Zara for a few months now, but from what little I have purchased, I am please with the quality.

SHIPPING&RETURNS. Very simple to understand, typical and standard policies. Shipping is free both ways unless you purchase express shipping, which is $10. Returns are simple. You may return your garment to one of Zara’s store or you may ship it back. They provide a pre-paid packaging slip inside your original package.

Skull Print Coin Purse
RECAP. "Wearing garments from makes me feel eloquent and cool. I imagine, I will be a loyal client for a long time. As I said before, they have garments for any age group but I think they should be the first stop for an incredibly chic 30-year-old woman. Fabulous Company! Don’t miss it!"- This is the recap I wrote BEFORE reading the article about Zara's sizing. I am very torn on whether or not I will remain a loyal client or not. While I do love their products, I feel as though the company certainly doesn't love me back. Also, as a plus sized, American girl, they do not value me (or my $$$) as a client. I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts on Zara, good or bad! Please, don't be shy about leaving a comment, I'm dying to hear some other opinions.

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  1. This is a great post! I am English and absolutely adore Zara as like yourself it matches my style. I think the size debate is always an interesting one, there are so many stores that cater for a particular look and exclude plus sizes because that doesn't fit with their 'brand'. Personally, I think that if your a plus size and healthy then you should be able to shop anywhere. I think this is a case of 'not thinking before you speak' (and its wrote down and published!). From a business point of view it probably does make sense, but from a consumer point of view you can feel excluded. I think Zara has a particular structure to their pieces (thinking of their jackets/blazers for example) that fit a certain shape better as they have been made with a European customer in mind (the shoulders and waist are always quite petite) but clearly there are plenty of Americans shopping in Zara!! Could of shunned an opportunity there for deffo, bit of market research could of helped! x

    1. You're right Emmy, I think there is a huge market for Zara in the States. I know there are Zara stores in NYC, but if I was Zara, I would put stores in L.A., Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, Portland, and all the major cities in the States. I think there is a huge demand for companies like Zara in the States and H&M has proven that.

  2. I really do applaud you for choosing to vote with your dollar and I'm looking forward to seeing your work on the sizing issue!

    I think there's even a misconception about the European customer, that they're all slim. There's money being left on the table in a lot of markets, not just the US, by Zara's refusal to even extend their sizing or adjust their cuts. There are several Euro/UK fatshion bloggers that have talked about how difficult it is because of this perception that doesn't match up to reality.

    I don't buy that it's all that's more expensive or not profitable to cut clothes larger, if that were the case, the retailers that have at least tried to make a showing wouldn't be having the success that they are. The stores that cater solely to plus sizes wouldn't be making money that they do.

    Zara's refusal is about cultural and body snobbery. But since we can't make Zara change their minds, what we can do is vote with our dollar and support retailers that see the viability of catering to a broader range of shapes and sizes. They may not all be doing a perfect job, but I'd rather give my money to an flawed supporter.

    It's unfortunate that there aren't many ethical options or places that carry certain aesthetics once you're over a size 14. Zara could make a lot of people happy, but they'd rather say some bs instead.

  3. I think you should read the entire article in the NY Times. The original article is about their marketing and business tatics in general, absolutely nothing to do with hating American women. The PR rep made ONE comment about the reasons based on non expansion in the US and it was honest and refreshing. No one is calling anyone fat, it's not a secret America is obese. If you are 5'3 and 200+ lbs, you are over weight. And, like you said, that is not their target demographic.

    1. Anonymous, Thank you for leaving a comment. Good to hear a differing opinion!


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