Zara’s (very serious) Faux Pas

Zara is at it again. We certainly don’t mean to single out this well-known retailer, but after the several copyright infringements that Zara has been charged with, all that comes to mind is: “again?!”. In fact, The Fashion Law, which is one of our sources of inspiration,  even went as far as to call Zara a “serial copycat” and we couldn’t agree more.

This time, Zara has set its sights on the high-tech brand ACRONYM (it’s really in all capitals…we’re not yelling), and has clearly copied its famous “functional strap” outerwear. ACRONYM founder, Errolson Hugh, has been selling its impeccably made coats for over 10 years. These designs feature a “functional strap” on the insides of the coats and contain a label that reads: “Interior crossbodystrap allows wearer to carry over their shoulder.” Unprecedented? Absolutely! Chic? Without a doubt. So, clearly we are big fans.


Left: ACRONYM  Right: Zara’s Imitation Label

ACRONYM’s creative designs are not the only unique thing about this brand. The label uses an untraditional advertising plan and is largely unknown to those who do not closely follow fashion  (but, don’t worry because we always keep you in the know). In fact, ACRONYM prefers its low profile image. Recently, however, as with any brand, many have slowly started to become aware of the label due to Hugh’s partnerships with Stone Island and Nike. How can one remain unknown when in partnership with Nike?!

This signature jacket, which allows the user to conveniently carry it around, became even MORE popular when Kanye West wore it on stage in 2013 during a Governor’s Ball concert. From that point onwards, the masses have been eagerly trying to get their hands on an ACRONYM jacket.

Unfortunately, similar to the well known shoe brand Aquazurra as mentioned in an earlier post, ACRONYM has been the target of several copycats, one of them including the Italian fashion house, Gucci. A VERY similar jacket was part of former Gucci creative director, Frida Giannini’s, Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Just to be clear, ACRONYM had introduced an almost identical jacket in fall of 2007 and then re-introduced it in Fall 2010. Law students: here is a good example of when to NOT rely on (fashion) precedent.

It must be noted that Hugh’s designs are INCREDIBLY well made. Most of ACRONYM’s clothing is the product of  years of research and development and the quality of the material and craftsmanship is unparalleled. This, combined with the nearly obsessive attention to detail with every garment, justifies the admittedly high price-points of ACRONYM’s clothing. As such, Hugh is not bothered by the copycats that have set their sights on the label, especially the fast fashion retailers that focus solely on style and very little, if at all, on quality. In fact, and this is our favourite part, when asked his opinion on Zara’s imitation of the signature jacket, Hugh responded with a simple (and admittedly, chic): “LOL.”

Well played.

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