Zara Origins opens pop-up for Paris Fashion Week, launches worldwide online
Zara, a democratic brand delivering fashion with not too much pain at the cash register, has always been more democratic than dashing. But its new concept collection, Zara Origins, which quietly opened a pop-up for Paris Fashion Week, makes the brand look very cool.
Somewhat remarkably it comes across as the antithesis of fast fashion. Precisely because Zara Origins is being launched at what seems the high point – or low point, depending on one’s taste - of active sports-influenced, attention-seeking, Instagram-number-obsessing fashion, it comes across as a contemporary stylish wardrobe of subtle sobriety.
The fabrics are fresh, the cuts precise, the tailoring skillfully deconstructed and the detailing darned good.
Like en-masse Zara, Origins also riffs on global trends, but upmarket fashion insider ones. There are hints of Hermès, Yohji Yamamoto and even Zegna, but all that is a good thing.
Take the fully deconstructed techy nylon blazer with exterior pockets. A look not entirely dissimilar can be found in Prada or Hermès. Except if you acquire the Origins version it costs just 89 euros. Meaning that you can still wine and dine your lover next weekend and not have to starve for a month.
Or the natty retro Wall Street-banker, cold-wool double-breasted jackets, unlined and cut with great aplomb. Priced at 129 euros, it’s also remarkably good value. There’s a creamy wool redingote Helmut Lang would not have turned up his nose, several excellent crewneck cashmere sweaters and cool nylon drawstring pants. Made in mono-colors of midnight blue; banker gray; faded putty and cigar brown, and hence very practical.
Internationally, Zara Origins also launched online on September 15, and in 39 physical outlets.
In Paris, all is installed in an airy store at 40 Rue Richelieu, just a two-minute walk from the Louvre, and hung from simple white racks in an all-white-room boutique. While upstairs, there’s a charming behind-the-scenes video installation of its lookbook shot by Dani Pujalte of an inclusive casting enjoying themselves in and around an orchestra playing in a giant pool in Barcelona.
Above all, the key thing about Origins is that where mainstream Zara can often look too ersatz, Origins looks effortless. It’s that good.
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