The new Zara store at Westfield's Pitt Street Mall in Sydney.
So is Zara coming to Canberra? The rumour is popping up quite often and where there’s smoke, there’s fire, yes? No? Maybe.
If there were to be a Zara, it would be wherever the greatest foot traffic is, and in a massive space, so that’d be somewhere in Civic. The first of these rumours popped up mid-April when property commentators were speculating that QIC was on the brink of securing Zara. Since then, Civic shop assistants have taken to whispering, ‘‘Is Canberra getting a Zara?’’
The Spanish clothing retailer, which already has wildly popular stores in Sydney and Melbourne, is said to be able to move a product from development to store within two weeks. The fast-fashion chain, therefore, can quickly tap into trends.
There is a certain Zara effect, which could be observed when the Sydney and Melbourne stores had just opened. Women lose their mind over Zara as if it were a shirtless Ryan Gosling. I remember the big crowds for Zara Melbourne and the way shoppers swarmed for the stuff, even when it was full-priced.
What I also remember about Zara: it is not infallible. The quality varies a lot. I’ve got a dress in an Impressionist-style print that is severely cool like something Marni might make (though the zip is increasingly dodgy). On the other hand, I was forced to retire a striped T-shirt from the Zara at Hong Kong airport because it was so very non-colourfast that my skin turned green one hot day.
The offerings for men at Zara are really quite good: smart blazers with elbow patches (in a sharp way); charming loafers; coloured sweaters; a vibe that is young and trendy.
So, Zara or no Zara, that is the question. Some women posing this exact question on the Vogue forums are coming to the conclusion they’d prefer it if Canberra had an IKEA instead.
The official word on this rumour from a Zara spokeswoman is ‘‘As of the moment, we can’t confirm if we have a store opening in Canberra. However, if there is any news about this, I will definitely give you an update.’’
There you go. They cannot confirm, they do not deny. Make of it what you will and do let us know if you know something they won’t tell us.