Zeina

Loredana. Italian model. Born in Venice, she was much in vogue from 1950 to 1954. Irving Penn dedicated a Vogue cover to her in September 1952 and she also graced the covers of Bellezza, Grazia, Eva, Die Elegante Welt, Linea and many other women’s titles. Her first marriage was to Giorgio Pavone. She modeled for designers like Carosa, Simonetta Visconti, the Fontana sisters, and Galitzine.

Zelda

American ready-to-wear label. From the name of Zelda Fitzgerland, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and a protagonist of the wild years, the beautiful and damned era of the Wasp high society that divided its time between New York, Paris, and the CÂte d’Azur. Quite deliberately, the specialty of this ready-to-wear label is recreating contemporary versions of 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s clothes. While the colors and fabrics may always follow the latest trends, the designs are always classic, with careful attention to details like hand embroidery, vintage buttons, and pockets sewn so that they remain hidden. The look has been defined as modern vintage.

Zanone

Alberto (1953). Italian designer, specialized in knitwear. He started out in the 1970s, working on product planning and quality research for the Della Rovere label. He achieved commercial success with the invention of reversible cashmere and lambswool pieces. He founded his own label in 1987 and started producing more modern, linear knitwear made from combed yarns, predicting a trend that subsequently materialized. For several years he was in charge of the “Tibet fibers” project run by the American Bridge Fund, which was set up to promote one of the Tibetan people’s primary resources — yak hair. Since 2001 he has been collecting knitwear seconds, which he then repairs by hand and transforms into unique pieces to be sold through his Recycled Knit label. The label is distributed in Milan, Florence, New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.

Zouari

Alexandre (1950). French hairdresser born in Tunisia. He worked for Lorca, the inventor of the blow dry, for 10 years from 1968 to 1978, and opened his first salon in Paris in partnership with Shiseido in 1987. During the 1990s he opened a further 4 salons in Japan and another in France. He works for famous designers, such as Gaultier, Mugler, Valentino, and Versace. His style is characterized by very sophisticated hairdos, with full chignons, and complicated plaiting.

Zignone

Wool mill specializing in pure wool worsted fabrics, cashmere blends, and extra fine merino that is machine washable. Their products are produced with classic and crêpe finishes. Located in 1968 in Strana (Biella), in recent years the mill’s annual production has reached about 2 million meters, 78% of which is exported.

Zooties

The zoot-suiter style, brought back into vogue in the 1980s by Kid Creole and Sugar Coated, Hernandez, and Chris Sullivan with his Blue Rondo. The zoot suit style had its origins in New York jazz clubs like the Onyx and Famous Doors towards the end of the 1930s. It was reserved for the kind of men who frequented the clubs on 52nd Street, renamed Manhattan’s “Swing Street,” or Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom where New York’s black dandies used to parade. These were called Zoot-suiters or Zooties, from the style of suits they wore. Zoot is a distortion and phonetic doubling of suit, to underline the exaggeration and taste for excess that typified this new fashion. And everything really was exaggerated and oversized. Starting with the double-breasted jacket two or three sizes bigger than necessary that wraps around the chest and ends in swathes around the knees, and the pants with the waistband up around the chest as if a waistcoat had been grafted onto a pair of breeches with a very low crotch. Pastel hues and tartans were the preferred choices for the fabrics. Fancy accessories of all kinds and long hand-painted watch chains add to the whole effect. The principle of showy consumerism was pushed to the limit, given the profusion and waste of material involved whilst the USA was on the brink of involvement in World War II. Given that state of affairs, in 1941 the American War Production Board set out strict rules to regulate the manufacturing of garments to the millimeter. Paradoxically, as often happens, it was precisely this prohibition that sanctioned the use of a style that in principle was too radical to catch on through its use by a small minority.

Zancan

Italian jewelry company, founded near Vicenza by the owner Robertino Zancan in 1987. It soon became established on the national and international markets. Zancan’s strength was to recognize the potential of color in jewelry. From the start their products played on the combination of colorful precious stones in geometric settings, then, 15 years later, they adopted more sinuous lines for their Liberty and Nouveau Collections. Several well known Italian actresses have provided testimonials for the brand, including Sabrina Febrilli.

Zintala

Handmade shoe company based in Casette d’Ete (Ascoli Piceno). The company was only founded in 1995, but it draws on 30 years of experience and tradition in the art of shoemaking. It has a showroom in Milan in Via Montenapoleone and in Rome in Via Bocca di Leone. The brand has three ranges: Silvano Lattanzi (made-to-measure items), Gerardo Fossati (limited runs using Goodyear technology) and Zintala (younger style shoes). The company has agents in the USA and Japan and also offers its foreign customers a made-to-measure service at home.

Zucca

Label of the Japanese designer Akira Onozuca, the youngest of 6 siblings who learnt the art of dressmaking from his eldest sister. He was assistant to Miyake in his Tokyo and Paris ateliers but set up on his own in 1989, showing in the French capital but always staying within his teacher’s orbit, since his business (30 stores in Japan and an annual turnover of 150 billion lire) is part of the Miyake Group. He opened a boutique, La Cabane de Zucca, in Paris in 1996. Whilst acknowledging that he has clearly been influenced by Miyake, he speaks of a fondness for the fashion of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and for Biba’s clothes.
&Quad;The company has 30 stores around the world, 8 of them called La Cabane de Zucca. The brand has become a leader in Japan and Europe. The designer has also developed a line of accessories, particularly watches, with new designs each season.

Zara

Mame Zara

The Origin

Zara is a Spanish fast fashion (clothing and accessories) retailer based in Arteixo (A Coruña) in Galicia. The company was founded in 1975 by Amancio Ortega and Rosalía Mera. It is the main brand of the Inditex group, the world’s largest apparel retailer. The fashion group also owns brands such as Massimo Dutti, Pull&Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home, and Uterqüe. Zara as of 2017 manages up to 20 clothing collections a year.

Amancio Ortega opened the first Zara store in 1975 in downtown A Coruña, Galicia, Spain. Ortega initially named the store Zorba after the classic film Zorba the Greek, but after learning there was a bar with the same name two blocks away, they rearranged the letters molded for the sign to “Zara”. It is believed the extra “a” came from an additional set of letters that had been made for the company. The first store featured low-priced lookalike products of popular, higher-end clothing fashions. Ortega opened additional stores throughout Spain. During the 1980s, Ortega changed the design, manufacturing, and distribution process to reduce lead times and react to new trends in a quicker way, which he called “instant fashions”. The improvements included the use of information technologies and using groups of designers instead of individuals.

Mame Zara
Zara’s A Coruna store in Spain.

Development

The first official mark of the brand was in 1963, when it started as a Confecciones GOA, a modest workshop making dresses and gowns for distribution in A Coruña, Spain. The first Zara store opened in 1975 in A Coruña. Zara’s new business model is termed a success the following year. In 1977, the company headquarter is established in Arteixo, Spain and Zara’s first garment factories are constructed on the outskirts. The year 1983 saw Zara expand across Spain. The following year, the first logistic centre opens spanning 10,000 square metres in Arteixo.

In 1988, the company started its international expansion through Porto, Portugal. In 1989, it entered the United States, and then France in 1990. During the 1990s, Zara expanded to Mexico (1992), Greece, Belgium and Sweden (1993). In the early 2000s, Zara opened its first stores in Japan and Singapore (2002), Russia and Malaysia (2003), China, Morocco, Estonia, Hungary and Romania (2004), the Philippines, Costa Rica and Indonesia (2005), South Korea (2008), India (2010), and South Africa and Australia (2011).

On September 2010, Zara launched its online boutique. The website began in Spain, the UK, Portugal, Italy, Germany and France. In November that same year, Zara Online extended the service to five more countries: Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Online stores began operating in the United States in 2011, Russia and Canada in 2013, and Mexico, Romania and South Korea in 2014. India in 4 October 2017. Zara introduced the use of RFID (Radio-frequency identification) technology in its stores in 2014. The RFID chips are located in the security tags which are removed from clothing when it is purchased and can be reused. The chip allows the company to quickly take inventory by detecting radio signals from the RFID tags. When an item is sold, the stockroom is immediately notified so that the item can be replaced. An item that is not on the shelf can easily be found with the RFID tag. In 2015, Zara was ranked 30 on Interbrand’s list of best global brands.

Zara stores have men’s and women’s clothing, as well as children’s clothing (Zara Kids). Zara’s products are supplied based on consumer trends. Its highly responsive supply chain ships new products to stores twice a week. After products are designed, they take ten to fifteen days to reach the stores. All of the clothing is processed through the distribution centre in Spain. New items are inspected, sorted, tagged, and loaded into trucks. In most cases, the clothing is delivered within 48 hours. Zara produces over 450 million items per year.

Mame Zara
First store of Zara Home in Ukraine.

Zara Home & Eco-store

 Zara Home was created in 2003. Since its launch, the brand has enjoyed huge success, opening its 500th store in 2015. When Zara Home went online in 2007, it became Inditex’s first brand to have an e-commerce platform. It was also Inditex’s first format to sell online in the southern hemisphere, beginning in Australia in 2015.

The parent company Inditex, develops environmentally strategic plan for its brands. Zara’s first highly eco-efficient store is opened in a landmark building in the commercial heart of Athens in 2008.

Finance

Among the major fashion groups, Inditex is unique, especially when it comes to online clothing sales: over the past year, it achieved a 41 % online growth spike and these now contribute 10 % of Inditex’ net sales. The Spanish company opened quite a few Asian web shops last year: customers in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were able to shop at Zara & Co’s web shops for the first-time last year. Its annual turnover reached 25.34 billion-euro (+ 9 %) and resulted in a 3.37-billion-euro net profit (+ 7 %).

The company has started 2018 in similar fashion: excluding exchange rate fluctuations, Inditex achieved a 9 % sales increase in the first five weeks, with subsidiary Zara’s spring and summer collections performing very well.

The results are a boost to the company, because exchange rates and the strong euro have made it vulnerable. The company’s shares plummeted drastically last month because of the strong euro’s position compared to other currencies.

Mame Zara
The Chairman and CEO of Inditex Pablo Isla, the company that owns Zara among others.

Current Situation

 Launching of Zara online in countries like India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam has helped the brand boost its turnover in the past one year and looks like the brand will keep expanding its online accessibility to wider reach in the coming years.

Recently, Zara found itself in the limelight when, Melania Trump, US First Lady was photographed boarding a flight to an immigration detention centre in Texas, US, for which the President and his policies have been strongly condemned in the media and by popular faces. The twist was that, the First Lady was wearing a Zara SS 2016 olive jacket with the words, “I Really Don’t Care, Do You?” on the back, which the world thought was highly inappropriate especially when going for a visit to such a centre. Though, it wasn’t the clothing itself that was condemned but the juxtaposition of the wearer that brought it so much attention.