Cape Town may have Table Mountain, but at one point it was only Johannesburg that held bragging rights to the first and only Zara store in South Africa. Sandtonites lapped up the global retailer's offering of international fashion trends in the form of quality products at an affordable price. The success of the Sandton City store soon led to the opening of Zara's second branch at Gateway in Durban. And now Cape Town can boast again to having it all with the recent opening of the third SA Zara store at one of Cape Town's premium shopping malls, the V&A Waterfront.
Fashion editors, bloggers and fashionistas descended on the 1 400 square metres of retail space, with the official launch of the store on 17 August. Guests perused the rails of Zara's unique southern hemisphere collection as they sipped on champagne. According to the Spanish retailer, SA consumers can expect a customised range of apparel for women designed around our warm climate.
The latest summer collection consists of "different fabric texture combinations and designs accentuating the feminine lines with volume ever present alongside eye catching bold beading and metal embellishments".
Although this does not necessarily mean the cuts have been customised around our buxom South African figures, with many complaining that Zara's European sizes are just too tiny. However, it would seem our unique and growing fashion-starved market is still proving to be very lucrative.
The same can't be said for Zara's foray into America. According to the UK's Daily Mail, while their "signature slim-fit, fashionable cuts" have had huge success in Europe, Asia and now South Africa, it's been struggling to find a "profitable audience" outside America's major cities. Sizes have been labelled as too small for America's "growing waistlines", according to a recent Economist profile.
Some have suggested that perhaps in order to make it in America, Zara should adopt the "vanity sizing" system which sees customers fit into a size eight when in reality they are a 10 or 12.
* What are your thoughts on Zara's clothing and sizing? Will the brand continue to succeed in SA?