November 13th, 2012
Fashion, Fashion Discussion, Fashion News, Shopping
The New York Times Names Zara The World’s Largest Fashion Retailer; Is It Your Favorite?
By Faith

Though we wax poetic about inspiration and often love the avant-garde because of its proximity to art, fashion is a business and in order to stay relevant, it must make a profit. Since the recession of 2008, we have seen a number of brands collapse and disappear into the sartorial abyss, but some are thriving. One such brand is Zara, which the New York Times named the world’s largest fashion retailer, much to my surprise.

Not only is the brand taking over the world, but its CEO, Amancio Ortega Gaona, is the world’s third richest man, even ahead of Warren Buffett. Can you say coins?

Zara is one of my favorite go-to stores for basics and on-trend buys. I’ve always been aware of the brand’s brilliance, but never fully absorbed that millions of fashion-obsessed men and women like myself were adopting the same routine. I pondered on how Zara could have achieved this unbelievable feat and then it all started to make perfect sense.

Price Points

With prices ranging from $15 for tights and cold-weather accessories to $300 for a studded leather jacket, Zara’s wares are affordable and work for most budgets.

Trends & Buy It Now Mentality

From ‘inspired’ Chloé Susanna boots to Versace-esque button downs, one can always wait for Zara’s latest to pick up designer-inspired pieces for less. The brand keeps us all on-trend and able to still live our everyday lives without resorting to a cracker-only diet because of exhausted funds. The assortment also changes bi-weekly, so if you don’t buy the leather-sleeve sweater you saw on Monday, there’s a high chance it’ll be sold-out by Friday. The brand has created this “buy it now” mentality which not only encourages us to spend, but keeps us wanting more to satisfy our sartorial cravings.


I purchased a chambray cargo pocket shirt a year ago from one of Paris’s many Zara locations, and wore the shirt almost weekly in the months afterward. I still wear it to this day; and though it has faded a bit from excessive washing, it still looks fantastic: a true testament to the durability of Zara’s products. Any shopper worth their salt will stick with the brands giving more bang for their buck–Zara is definitely high atop that list.

High-fashion Girls and Celebrities Like Zara Too

From the Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton to Kim Kardashian, high-fashion celebutantes like Zara just as much as we regular people do. They’re mixing and matching the brand with luxury jewels and Tom Ford heels seamlessly, illustrating the brand’s ability to anchor a mix of high and low. This also means women the world over are flocking to Zara to look like their favorite stars.

So what do you think? Is Zara’s title as the world’s largest fashion retailer justified? Is it your favorite brand?

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29 Responses to “The New York Times Names Zara The World’s Largest Fashion Retailer; Is It Your Favorite?”

  1. lia says:

    I do like Zara. Always get a standout piece to add to my wardrobe.

  2. pyt says:

    I just ordered a dress from zara! I think in termsnof quality and trend zara is #1. Classic and chic!

  3. I love Zara. It’s been my go to store for years. I am very fond of their shoes because they are very affordable. I also shop there for my daughter because they have great stuff for the little ones too! However, I’m starting to see that Zara is getting very common. It’s turning into H&M. It’s definately losing the edge that it had when I first started shopping there. Online shopping is great too because they ship for free and deliver in just a few days.

  4. EatStylePlay says:

    I can admire Zara, but I can’t get anything from there. They don’t make anything for my size, and even my friend who much smaller than me are finding it harder to get clothing from their stores. WHile they make fun clothes I wish they would think to target a larger market of people who are above a size 12. I can’t even admire their shoes anymore because everything is cut small I wear a 9.5 ten. I’m lucky i can’ get my foot into their 41′s.

  5. jess says:

    I absolutely love Zara! They are my go to store for blazers and jackets. I spend a small fortune on them each season. I have to agree with the person above about sizing. Zara skews really small and even as a size 4/6 in other brands I’m in a Large/XL at Zara. They might want to try being more size inclusive for other people.

  6. alecea says:

    love zara… I can only fit their pants when I’ve been working out non stop and eating as little as possible.

  7. Mrs Windy City says:

    I like Zara but for me its also a fit situation. They aren’t true to size. I’m like a size 6/8 and I have a time with some of the jackets and esp the pants.

  8. Taj says:

    I absolutely love the majority of the pieces that Zara carries. I mostly purchase dresses, skirts, and tops from them but I have been hesitant on their pants because I don’t believe they are true to size.

  9. Mads says:

    I just love Zara, it’s my go to shop for everything but trousers and skirts. As has been said its hard to fit a typical black body in their trousers. I go for blazers, shirts, tops, shoes. They cater for a more mature customer unlike say Topshop who can sometimes be a bit ‘out there’. They are pocket friendly but not cheap, mostbf my blazers were at least £60. The quality has been dropping though, my leopard print blazer which cost £89.99 is starting to split at the seams despite only ever being dry cleaned.

    Still love it though, perfect for work and play. Kids and menswear is nice too.

  10. aliciaNicole says:

    We dont have one in Michigan ,but i check the website weekly. loooovvvvveee them

  11. Crystal says:

    I’m not surprised, Zara is worldwide. They do their research and they know what will sell. They have a nice mix of classic and trendy and it’s budget friendly. I don’t have a Zara store where I live but I know my UPS man by name from my online Zara shopping. I wouldn’t doubt he’s the 3rd richest man. Truly wealthy people don’t broadcast it, in fact, they rather you didn’t know.

  12. Jlynn719 says:

    I love Zara, while their buttons always need reinforcing and some pieces are less quality overall I love what they have brought to the table. I am a vanity size 4 and in true sizes a 6 and can wear anything from a S-L at Zara. They have a very European cut (basically straight up and down) which does not leave room for hips (which I have), I know that I cannot wear pencil or straight silhouettes there so I stick to what works for my body type. Zara is not for everyone but the good thing is that there are plenty of other choices out there if Zara doesn’t fit your body type/size.

  13. Kimberly says:

    I love Zara !!! Its my go to store for me AND my kids

  14. It is mind boggling how Zara receives such recognition. I did a review on Influenster about Zara. I found comparable clothing at the Gap, H&M and forever 21 at 30% lower prices. Zara makes fashion forward merchandise but the quality, material and workmanship doesn’t measure up to the price point. Example of that poorly made tweed jacket with faux leather. I am confident you can find something comparable at Forever 21 and or H&M. The price points at Zara are similar to the price points of BCBG, Free People, Splendid, DKNY or even Macy INC but the quality is inferior. The quality of Zara is equivalent to junior price points. In the fashion industry there is a distinction between junior and contemporary. Junior being inferior quality and workmanship

  15. The SPS says:

    Zara quality is not amazing anymore. When is was a European only store their quality was much much better. And I am sure all of the designers whose ideas they steal are none to pleased by this news.

  16. Kapri_H says:

    I love Zara, but the quality of their clothes seem to be going downhill.
    However, I obsessively check their site every other day for new arrivals for me and my daughters.

  17. Sweet coco says:

    Like the majority of people who have commented above, I too love Zara. Have been a big fan for years, but I have noticed the quality of some pieces have not been of the same standard as a few years ago. I now tend to just look at the Zara Woman and avoid Zara basic. I cant wait for SS13 to launch as this season has been more of a miss for me. Too many studs on everything and I am beyond over it. I’ve only been able to find a few pieces I love.

  18. ok says:

    i have to agree with @thefashionistachic. they have nice stuff but they mark them up considerably and the quality isn’t even there. i’ll buy unique things from them every now and then because they do have nice items and are very trendy but overall if i see some basics that i like from them like pants/coats and or looks that they’ve put together i’ll try to look for them at the gap/h&m because you can definitely find similar items there for a little bit cheaper than zara.

  19. I love Zara. They cater to my early 30′s age group. And since I’m slim their stuff fits me just right. I’ve got my go to store near SF’s Union Square that not many people know is there.. love love! :)

  20. Thanks for the inspiration, I was thinking about doing this post for weeks now I am incredibly appalled by ZARA CHARLATAN WAYS. SEE MY POST ON Zara The Worlds Largest Retailer Or the World Biggest CHARLATAN?

  21. Nelli says:

    100% I Love Me Some ZARA.
    Although I do agree with some of the clothing (pants & dresses) coming up small I love the brand so I don’t even care lol!
    They’re modern and chic with elements of high fashion at affordable prices and their quality is also really good too.

  22. SLIMB says:

    I loveeeee ZARA , ALL of my daughters clothes are from their its such good quality. All of her jeans are way over a year old, shes grown and they still fit as if I just bought them.

  23. Lilmsknowitall says:

    I LOVE ZARA! The shoes, jackets, and kids clothes are my favorite! QUALITY FOR A DECENT AMOUNT OF CHANGE!

  24. baby-b says:

    If only they made pants that fit well…i’m slim 5ft9 and wear a size 27 and I cannot fit in their pants. They are made terrible…super low waist, too tight on the thighs, and not skinny enough on the ankle. Total fail in the pant dept. they need a new fit model!!

  25. i was just @ the 5th ave. store today! whenever i go to zara i make sure to try on an INSANE amount of clothing (mostly pants/jeans) in order to find my size (almost, always a 10 or 12) i looooove zara. their skirts and dresses don’t fit my hips and thighs, so i stick to the shoes, coats and jeans. i mostly shop during their sales (there’s one coming up soon at the end of january) i am a stalker of their sales :-)

  26. tt says:

    i love zara, but it really depends on which one you shop at. nyc & south beach zara’s are so much flier than the one in vegas or central fl. the zara where i live is meh, but i will shop at zara when i visit cities w/much nicer merchandise.

  27. J Danielle says:

    I agree with folks who said you can find most of their items at cheaper places. And if you go take those cheapies to get altered you might still come out below the price of Zara.

  28. As an established wardrobe stylist in San Francisco I speak for many of my clients. Zara has done an amazing job delivering fashion at an affordable price. The quality factor is quite impressive and not to be underestimated. Many client shop endeavors includes a quick tour through Zara. It’s the icing on the cake. Only one pitfall……….where are the larger sizes.? My clients who are size 10 and up are limited to accessories. Hoping Zara will expand their sizes soon. Lots of curvy figures longing to be Zara shoppers.

  29. RONY says:


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