It’s no industry secret that global fast fashion retailer ZARA consistently lifts designs from the latest runway fashions, skirting their way around the grey legal area on creative copyrights and utilizing their vast infrastructure to churn out pastiches of hyped brands mere weeks after the original unveiling. Kanye West’s Yeezy fashion line is the latest to be imitated by the Spanish brand, the latter having released its new Streetwise Collection that features several hallmarks of Yeezus’s design philosophy — namely a muted, earthy palette; layering of boxy, oversized pieces; and frayed detailing throughout.
In the past, West has praised the role of ZARA and fast fashion in subverting the traditional fashion hierarchy — in 2013, he told Power 106, “I don’t like everything ZARA and H&M does, but one thing that’s good is they were able to break the idea that creativity and the things you want have to cost, like, a million dollars.” He might be eating his own words with the release of this collection, but ZARA has ultimately beat West at his own pledge to make the Yeezy label affordable. With prices topping out at $50 USD for apparel, and $100 USD for footwear, the Streetwise Collection may mark what West initially envisioned for his own designs but has been slow to deliver on.
Is this the highest form of flattery, or flat-out creative exploitation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.