Cities have their rivalries. They claim to be better than others at some things. Some go as far to say that they’re better at all things. In the case of Melbourne, Australia, the grandiose claim is that Melbourne is Australia’s fashion capital. No small statement. And yet, Melbourne, that title could soon elude you.
You see, Australia is catching up with the rest of the world: Zara is coming. And with it will come precisely the kick in the pants that Australia’s retail scene needs; it’ll have to compete on an international level, or Zara will leave it behind. Say what you like of Zara, but they are great at retail while too many Australian stores get by thanks to a lack of strong competition.
But it’s not just retailers that are facing competition. Melbourne as a city will too. It’s claim to be the fashion capital may elude it. Melbourne, it’s time to step up.
And there’s only one way to do it: ensure that Melbourne has a Zara. And I mean Melbourne proper, not some outer-lying concrete-jungle-come-shopping-centre.
Naturally, there’s more. To retain the title of Australia’s fashion capital it won’t be enough to just have a Zara: it has to have the first Zara. Of course, an exclusive on Zara forever is impossible, even if has taken a good decade to get Zara in Australia. So a lead time will have to do. It needs to be measured in months, and it has to be enough of a lead time that other people from around Australia will book flights to go on a shopping spree at Melbourne’s Zara. And book flights they will if a snap poll of my fashion-forward friends is any measuring stick.
That might be enough to retain your self given ‘fashion capital’ title Melbourne. But if you really want to secure it then when Zara comes to Melbourne it can’t be any old store: it has to be the flap ship Zara store for Australia.
Zara’s entry in Australia has to potential to be the biggest change in Australia’s retail and fashion scene in years. Miss this boat Melbourne, and it sails with a ‘fashion capital’ moniker that will forthwith elude you.
So Melbourne, that is the government and council who spend the tax dollars, step up to the plate, defend the title, secure Zara’s Australian flag ship store for your city, and you’ll get to keep the fashion capital title.
That is, until H&M, TopShop and Victoria’s Secret come to your shores. Then you’ll have to start the process all over again.