#224 – Zara

27 04 2011

The bogan is widely travelled. Having been as far as both Bali and Phuket, it also has fond memories of its Contiki tour across seventeen European countries over two weeks back in ’06. While the South East Asian trips are full of blurry memories of buckets of vodka, Red Bull and ladyboys, the bogan can remember precisely what it managed to extract from its Euro-jaunt: class. Merely by attending such a storied, classy land full of cigarette-smoking, baguette-eating, beret-toting, cheese eating surrender monkeys, the bogan arrived home flush with the belief that it had been imbued with the very thing it robbed from much of Europe.

Of course, upon returning, the bogan immediately began complaining about how ‘uncultured’ its homeland was, pining for the sophistication it reveled in while vomiting behind a bush as the Eiffel Tower glittered in the Parisian twilight. Usually, the bogan can spend money on things that confer upon it the requisite cachet. When it came to European cool, however, it was stumped. Scanning the Australian retail landscape, it saw a wasteland of local companies – Witchery, Sportsgirl, Cue, Myer, David Jones, Country Road, Suzanne and Dotti – who wouldn’t know their escargot from their escargot pants.

Ordinarily, the bogan will vocally advocate the purchasing of Australian products (Thai manufacturing notwithstanding), as a means of stroking its throbbing nationalism gland and providing Australians with jobs. But, having returned from somewhere so classy, so goddamned cultured, the bogan simply cannot be satisfied with local clothing providers any longer. It needs style. Cosmopolitan style. Like the magazine. For years, this yearning has gone unfulfilled.

Until now. The entrance of Spanish fashion behemoth Zara into the Australian market comes at a time when bogans are Doing It Tough.  Yet even flagging bogan fashion spending doesn’t prevent our economy outstripping all other developed countries’. For years, foreign fashion lines have avoided antipodean shores, ostensibly because it was a small market, when in fact it was an acknowledgement that convincing bogans to buy furreners’ wares was foolish. Now, with Australia the only economically viable country in the free world, Zara has taken a gamble which, in retrospect, was no gamble at all. Offered the prospect of cladding itself in the Eurostylz, the bogan has quite nearly dropped a lung in excitement, queuing up not behind a velvet rope, but a cattle race, in order to access the low-quality, high-turnover goods that Zara provide.

Because when examined more closely, Zara are perhaps the greatest bogan fashion label ever. More bogan than Tiffany & Co., more bogan than Pandora Bracelets. Even more bogan than, yes, Audigier. Zara’s business model is to offer the bogan maxtige at record pace. It can turn fashion from the catwalk or the drawing board to the shop floor in a blindingly fast two weeks. The bogan can now access the same clothes it bought at other stores faster and cheaper. This neatly fits in with the bogan’s two-week fashion gestation period between spotting a celebrity endorsed style and securing a new credit card in order to purchase it. Zara understand the term zeitgeist (luckily the bogan doesn’t speak Spanish) better than most people in the business of extracting bogan bucks, ensuring that nothing stays fashionable for more than a couple of weeks.  Luckily, the bogan was too distracted to care.