A quick trip through the aisles of fast-fashion purveyor Zara and it becomes quickly apparent what labels have legit buzz based on the designs the chain is taking inspiration from. For fall 2017, it’s clear Zara has jumped all over Virgil Abloh’s Off-White’s fall 2017 collection.
While there are purists who in utter disgust with Zara’s knock-off ways stay out of the chain altogether, the rest of us shop there with the hopes of picking up something cute and trendy and yet not an obvious copy of a designer item. Zara no doubt is aware of this phenomenon and attempts to walk a fine line whereby the item feels like the original but isn’t exactly. It’s also really good at mashing up design ideas from multiple labels, taking a unique print idea from one and marrying it with a silhouette from another.
For those uninterested in looking like a cheap copy of Off-White, there are some Zara items inspired by the label that should be avoided at all costs. The copy of Off-White’s binder-clip bag is very bad and should be utterly shunned because there are only minor modifications to the original design, an item that’s become a signature for Off-White and has been prominently sported by Beyoncé and friend-to-Off-White Bella Hadid.
Zara also took inspiration from Off-White’s use of descriptive white text, applying the slightly-modified concept (the quotes have been vanquished) to shoes, tops and even a pair of ankle-strap leggings labeled “at your feet.” There’s also a t-shirt that swaps out Off-White’s “woman” text with “people person,” which is just sort of pathetic.
In a more subtle take down , Zara has copied the navy and grey check pattern featured prominently in Off-White’s fall collection, applying it not just to suit jackets, skirts and crop tops as Abloh did, but also using it on additional items like coats and even tote bags.
While one could argue that a plaid tote is far enough removed to make it a safe purchase, just know you will be judged for it by fashion fanatics. As such, one could argue wearing such an item to a meeting with basics, but leave it at home for events filled with snobby fashion types.
Finally, Zara also included a version of Off-White’s long-sleeve lace top and while it doesn’t include the “off white” text on the front of the body, Zara styled the shoot with a web belt as a sub-conscious nudge to connect you back to the Off-White collection. On a scale of one to horrendous, if the binder clip bag is an eleven, the lace top is a one or two.
Check out Zara’s worst offenders below and visit Off-White here to compare with the originals.