Is Zara's Lower-Priced Brand Worth The Wait?

stradivarious-1Photo: Courtesy of Stradivarius.
FOMO reigns at Refinery29 HQ today, with word that Stradivarius, Zara's more-affordable sister brand, will soon arrive in London. Per the Evening Standard, Stradivarius' first British shop opens later this year in Westfield Stratford mall, which already includes a solid Inditex lineup: Zara, Zara Home, Bershka, and Pull & Bear. (Pull & Bear? Inditex, you have really been holding out on us.)
Focused on females aged 20 to 35, Stradi outfits those "who are too young to dress like their mothers, but too sophisticated to dress like teenyboppers," its website reads. It was founded in Sabadell, Spain, in 1994 and bought by Inditex in 1999. During the past two decades, Stradivarius debuted in 60 countries (note: NOT the U.S.) from Kazakhstan to France to Colombia — that's 871 stores and counting — and raked in more than €1 billion ($1.36 billion) in sales for 2013.
As for the line's aesthetic: "On sight alone it's hard to decipher it from its big sister [Zara], which will surely draw in customers," the Telegraph points out, and we concur. The Brit paper's had ample time to study Stradi's striped tops and wide-legged trousers, since the brand launched e-commerce in the U.K. last year. (Remember, brick-and-mortar Zaras opened Stateside eons before we could shop it online.) So, do we lobby for Stradivarius stores on American soil, or access to its e-tail? Either way, U.S.A! U.S.A.!

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