In a recent post summarizing the upcoming trends for Spring 2013, I mentioned that a blouse cut in the shape of a roomy T-shirt would be one of the new silhouettes for next season. Well. Zara, has already knocked off the concept with panache and it’s just hit their stores (see photos below). It’s been less than a month since the last Spring 2013 runway show in Paris. Fast fashion is FAST. 

Zara, one of the most successful retail chains in the world, is unique for many reasons. For one, it can turn around an item much faster than other chain stores because it is vertically integrated. In other words, it owns much of its own supply chain, from production all the way through to retail. This cuts down operating costs and speeds up the manufacturing process. The fastest turnaround time for chain stores who outsource clothing production is approximately three months — and that’s if everything runs smoothly. That’s how long it takes to design, order fabric and trims, cut and sew the item, and deliver it to stores. Clothing production can be turned around faster if the fabric is already in stock and does not have to be especially produced for the garment order. Zara, on the other hand, has a three week turnaround time from sketch to delivery. Unbelievable. 

As far as the new “T-shirt blouse” goes, I hope to see it in an assortment of colours, patterns and solids for Spring 2013. Its dressy yet casual integrity is modern. It’s roomy and comfortable with just the right amount of structure, especially with the addition of the banded bottom. Woven fabrication amps up its versatility allowing it to be dressed up or down. Great for work and play. I’m a fan of this new silhouette. 

Fast fashion has its advantages and disadvantages, which is a topic for another day. But one thing is for sure. As a fashion professional I continue to be fascinated by the trend cycle. Seeing new trends and fashion concepts appear in stores at virtually the speed of light is part of what makes fashion such a fun sport.