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Zara and Rhuigi Villaseñor team up again, launch pop-up store in New York

Translated by
Feb 10, 2023

Zara's strategy to create exclusive collaborations in order to elevate its brand positioning still seems to be a key factor in Marta Ortega's decisions since her arrival at the helm of Inditex last spring. The Spanish group's latest initiative? Its second collaboration with the Los Angeles-based designer of Filipino origin, Rhuigi Villaseñor. Their first collaboration called "Redesigning Human Uniform" or "RHU" launched last May, aimed to offer a comprehensive collection of accessible sportswear for men. After the success of their first alliance, Inditex's flagship retailer and the founder of the streetwear brand Rhude are teaming up once again to create a capsule collection that will be "an evolved and extended edition of the contemporary RHU uniform".

Spanish actor Aron Piper, photographed for the campaign by Willy Vanderperre - Zara

This long-term alliance consisting of several collections follows in the footsteps of Zara's second collaboration with the South Korean design collective Ader Error, which was presented in pop-up stores in Paris and Seoul last December. On this occasion, "RHU" will be presented for the first time during New York Fashion Week at a pop-up shop located at 146 Greene Street. The exclusive pieces will be available in the ephemeral space from February 11 to 18.

The collection will also be available worldwide on Zara's website and in select physical shops from Monday February 20. Customers will then be able to get their hands on the collection dubbed "Cross Country" made up of 20 ready-to-wear garments, designed in collaboration with the recently appointed creative director of the Swiss fashion house Bally, a regular at Milan Fashion Week. The designs were inspired by classic varsity jackets or the Ivy League style and take the form of workwear looks, denim ensembles, biker jackets, oversized trousers, colourful shirts, polo shirts and casual T-shirts.

In addition, the accessible premium collection will offer five different footwear styles, six "eclectic and modern" bags, and will introduce the partnership's first scented body spray.

The collection will be available from February 20 - Zara

"What I have noticed is that today's youth don't want to conform or be defined by the codes and boundaries that apply to their parents' thinking. This philosophy is reflected in how they dress," said the founder of Rhude about his take on contemporary design, underlining that this trend is reflected throughout the collection by garments that are comfortable and liberating. They range from oversized to cropped or slouchy and play with mixed proportions.

"The only thing I regret about this collection is that it wasn't available when I was creating my own identity and style through clothes," he added.

With the aim of connecting with a younger audience, the Arteixo (A Coruña) based brand hired Spanish actor Aron Piper. Best known for his role in the Netflix series "Élite", the actor has more than 13 million followers on Instagram and has already become a regular on red carpets as well as a guest at fashion shows for luxury brands such as Jacquemus and Loewe. With a personal style that closely resembles that of Villaseñor's streetwear brand, Piper was cast as the star of the collection's campaign photographed by Willy Vanderperre.

In the first nine months of fiscal year 2022, the group founded by Amancio Ortega recorded a 19% increase in turnover to 23.1 billion euros.

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