Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spot the difference: Betty Autier v. Zara

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The rise of blogging and its influence on our sartorial choices has meant a swift change in the way fashion houses and brands are doing business. Pandora, Betty, Jane and Alix have all witnessed the beauty of Coco Chanel's Parisian apartment, once closed to the public it is now open to a select few who are the new muses of fashion.

While some brands are openly transparent with bloggers and the projects that they work on together, others seem to skip over them all together, forgetting the key to many blog's success- involvement in their communities, open discussion and acknowledgement that our opinions count.

This morning I stumbled across Betty Autier's post, trawled through 250 comments all of which were utterly dismayed by Zara's lack of courtesy. This is quite similar to the uproar that started on IFB a few weeks ago surrounding Payless Shoes and Chictopia using member's photographs without permission or credit.

It seems to me that a quick telephone call, or email would have sufficed and even worked in Zara's favour. Now, I'm no blogging it-girl, I've never had Chanel inviting me to sit on Coco's steps, but if a company such as Zara called and said, "hey Lola we want to put a cartoon of your ever so gorgeous mug on our t-shirts" I would have been absolutely flattered. I may have even whipped up a lovely little blog post and all of those 250 comments and rising may have translated into a little pot of t-shirt gold.

Instead, the company has most likely risked any future cross promotion with Miss Autier and alienated a fair chunk of their targeted demographic. Not such a smart move when most of us no longer look to magazines for style inspiration but Betty et al.

What do you think? How should companies deal with situations like this? Sink their heads in the sand or try to understand the dynamics of the blogging economy a little better?


  1. Terrible! I guess the internet and the content on it is fairly open to plagiarism though. It's a sad world we live in if a company can't even pull together an email as you mentioned.

  2. You are so right, about a e.mail or a phone call. Can't wait to see Zara's next move, I think they need to apologize.

  3. love it! you are so beautiful!

  4. i am soo disappointed with zara about this. to think that betty makes good advertisement for zara all the time. bummer.


  5. That's exactly right Mez, and I know myself having a wiki it's very easy to simply copy something, however it is just as easy to do the right thing and reference everything. How hard would it have been to simply give her a quick call? My bf thinks that they may have ignored this route to forgo any monetary compensation though. That's poor form if that's the case.

    Thanks soley :)

  6. not really a good move for zara's reputation!

  7. whoa, i am amazed and appalled! i was definitely bowled over with the payless bit, but this is just crazy.

  8. wow, that's crazy that zara did that without letting the blogger know! i mean, us fashion bloggers are posting our mugs all over the internet for people to see- obviously it would be an exciting thing to be featured on a tee shirt from a store like zara! this could've been a great move for them, but instead they messed everything up. ~joelle

  9. I absolutely agree that if Zara had contacted Betty, then the situation wouldn't be terrible at all. I'm sure she'd be flattered.

  10. maybe someone had already done an illustration of betty without crediting her name and zara found it, liked it and whacked it on a tee! it wouldn't be the first time - their new s/s collection rips off miu miu so obviously :/
    i suppose thats the danger of putting things on the net :(

  11. Wow, really interesting post. Agreed, though, a simple phone call probably would have sufficed.

  12. thats nuts. naughty naughty zara.

  13. I agree - this was handled very poorly on Zara's behalf. The effects (if any) will be interesting to see.

    Great post!

    Luv, Friend in Fashion


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