he retail landscape in Melbourne is about undergo a drastic change with Zara opening its doors on Bourke Street this morning. Taking over the space thankfully vacated by Supre, this store is the second antipodean outpost of the iconic Spanish brand that first opened its doors in downtown A Coruña, Spain in 1975. Occupying 19 metres of significant frontage on Bourke Street, this five level fashion edifice continues Zara’s interior design vernacular, emphasising sleekness by juxtaposing a neutral colour palette with heavily polished surfaces to radiate a kind of everyday luxury.
Mid-market Australian labels beware – Zara’s product offerings are heavily influenced by European runway trends, with styles making their way onto racks two weeks after they are shown. This product strategy is creative ‘appropriation’ for sure, but such pieces will no doubt resonate with those who seek fashion garments devoid of the Australian context that so often influences local designers.
Offering an ever-changing selection of womenswear, dapper menswear and a selection of kidswear, Zara’s Melbourne store will attract the consumer who searches for garments with inherent design detail and a European edge. Competition is definitely healthy for Australian fashion retail, with the savvy consumer surely emerging the winner.
Zara launched its first Australian store in Sydney at the beginning of April. It’s rumoured that 80 per cent of their stock sold out within the first day of opening. The reception in Melbourne is sure to be just as crazy with over 900 well heeled guests making their way through the multi-level megastore at the launch party last night.
This morning saw hundreds of eager shoppers lining up from the wee hours, and some even camping out over night.
It seems everyone’s going a bit zany over Zara.
Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne