If there’s one thing I, (and everyone else) has noticed when shopping at ZARA, it’s that the high-street store is very good at producing convincing designer-esque knock offs.
Now on some days this tends to annoy me, as I’d rather buy something more original than sauntering along in the same Sandro-esque faux leather and bouclé coat as the girl a few paces ahead of me.
That’s not to say I’m not guilty of doing this, and sure, if the ‘must have’ ZARA piece looks great, suits me, and fulfils whatever practical requirements I may have at the time, it’s definitely worth buying.
As this great piece on ‘how to shop at ZARA’ by Garance Doré explains, there’s an art to purchasing wisely there and avoiding falling into copycat territory.
So today when I happened to be passing by, I followed one of her tips. This is, to look only at the front of the store where they showcase all their best pieces. It’s very true, because some of the stuff further back is just not worth it. That basic black blazer for everyday wear? Nah- it attracts fluff, the cut’s off, and however tempting the £29.99 price-tag is, you’ll probably never wear it and find better at somewhere like Warehouse, (where, is it just me, or have they had a 25% off sale for most of the year??)
Anyway, to cut to the chase, I scanned up and down ONLY within a 5 square metre radius. And this caught my eye:
The picture doesn’t quite do it justice, but when swung in the crook of your elbow, this bag has a lovely slouchy look, and is the perfect size for carting your laptop around, as I so often do.
I was drawn to this bag, one because of the colour contrast, and two, because it reminded me ever so strongly of one of my current bag crushes by 3.1 Phillip Lim, the 31 Hour bag:
Very similar right? You might be thinking- ‘That’s just coincidence, it’s a pretty common design…’ But as a ZARA cynic, I’m willing to bet the price of this Phillip Lim that the Spanish conglomerate knew exactly what they were doing when they designed it. And trust me, it was a lot closer in appearance in reality than it looks here.
In this case, I don’t mind because it’s a nice and practical bag, and it doesn’t immediately scream Celine/Chanel/Balmain, (the first few designers that pop into my mind when I think ‘ZARA reproduction’.)
And for a reasonable £99.99, it’s a good purchase that mimics the understated luxury of the Lim classic which I’m sure is going to be HUGE.
So get it and wear it before everyone else does, or, like me, hold out for the real deal which you can get your hands on at Selfridges in a tantalising array of colours!