It’s Princess Zara! No, not Anne’s daughter, but Kate Middleton – who loves the High Street store

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A few weeks ago I met a girlfriend for dinner. As I entered the restaurant, she stood up to greet me. “Ooh, I love your dress,” she said, adjusting the hem of my skirt. “Is this Erdem?” “

I laughed. A few days before, I had worn the same dress to a party. Someone had asked if it was Dolce & Gabbana. The truth is, it’s neither.

That is, of course, Zara – and a total theft at around £ 40 or so.

£ 15.99: Wearing a stylish houndstooth jacket on Wednesday in Bradford that sold out in seconds

£ 17.00: Stylish headband at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London in November last year

£ 17.00: stylish headband at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London in November last year

Ask any woman, of any age, and from any income bracket, what she thinks of Zara, and the cry will rise, “Love it! “.

I don’t know a single woman, from my mom to my daughter, who doesn’t have at least one Zara staple in her wardrobe.

Whether you are a poor person or a princess – literally the Duchess of Cambridge is a huge fan, as is Queen Letizia of Spain – this is the first port of call when you need something special that you don’t want. will not ruin.

Kate, of course, (whose nearest store is a few feet from her front door at Kensington Palace) rarely has that conversation with friends every time she steps out in a Zara staple.

£ 29.99: Just the right jeans for a trip to the school's wildlife garden in west London in 2018

£ 75.00: Kate wears the fashion flag for Great Britain with this jacket in Canada in 2016

£ 29.99: Just the right jeans for a trip to the School’s Wildlife Garden in West London in 2018 (left). £ 75.00: Kate wears the fashion flag for Great Britain with this jacket in Canada in 2016 (right)

£ 49.99: The lady in red looked special in this coat at the Queen's 90th birthday celebration in Windsor in 2016

£ 49.99: The lady in red looked special in this coat at the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration in Windsor in 2016

Her outfits tend to be identified, valued, posted on the internet, and sold seconds after she pulls a zipper.

The stylish Zara houndstooth dress she wore on a trip to Bradford this week is currently just £ 15.99 on sale. I doubt that after today there are many left.

Perhaps her most memorable support for the brand came the day after her wedding in 2011.

Hours after dazzling the world in a £ 250,000 Alexander McQueen wedding dress – one of the most expensive wedding dresses on record – she chose a blue chiffon Zara dress at £ 49.99 for her starting outfit.

£ 79.99: Effortlessly, cool when arriving at a wine tasting in Queenstown, New Zealand in 2014

£ 79.99: Effortlessly, cool when arriving at a wine tasting in Queenstown, New Zealand in 2014

£ 38.00: A blouse everyone would be proud of as Kate attended a North Wales marathon in 2013

£ 38.00: A blouse everyone would be proud of as Kate attended a North Wales marathon in 2013

Over the years, she has rarely come out of the making. There she was, resting with William in Zara jeans.

Again, at a movie premiere with a Zara necklace; again, polo in a cute Zara summer dress, and it was a Zara headband that she chose for a Remembrance Day service last year.

A masterpiece in public relations, of course, but which also shows the appeal and versatility of the brand. Kate isn’t the only woman who can afford to wear what she loves, but she chooses Zara anyway.

Claudia Winkleman in Strictly in a Red Sequin Tuxedo: Zara.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on Instagram: Zara.

Trinny Woodall in this morning: Zara.

Amanda Holden walks around London on a sunny summer day: Zara.

Holly Willoughby, Rochelle Humes, Alexa Chung, Helen Mirren – the list is endless.

£ 70.00: A medal-worthy red jacket as she applauds the UK cycling team at the London 2012 Olympics

£ 70.00: A medal-worthy red jacket as she applauds the UK cycling team at the London 2012 Olympics

UNKNOWN: A teal blue dress borrowed from her sister Pippa at Kensington Palace in 2012

£ 30.00: jeans applaud at the 2012 Olympic torch relay in London

UNKNOWN: A teal blue dress borrowed from her sister Pippa at Kensington Palace in 2012 (left). £ 30.00: Jeans to applaud at the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay (right)

A few years ago, Zara was a fairly closed club, accessible only to women in the Duchess of Cambridge shape, all long legs and slender hips.

But since they introduced plus sizes a few years ago, even tall girls like me have been allowed to join in on the fun. And it is this, I think, which is crucial for its success.

Zara’s clothes are original, daring; there is always that element of slight risk. And unlike high-end fashion, they allow you to experiment, to indulge in the occasional gamble, without having to remortgage the house.

£ 69.99: This floral-print dress at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011 has lots of legs

£ 69.99: This floral-print dress at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011 has lots of legs

It’s sartorial escape, guilt-free shopping at its best. No wonder we love it. No wonder he made its founder, Amancio Ortega Gaona, 83, the sixth richest person on the planet.

We are almost like lemmings in our worship.

You think that might undermine Zara’s appeal, but what’s odd is that even though this piece is becoming ubiquitous – as happened with last summer’s black and white polka dot dress, which became so sought after that she even had her own Instagram account, ‘Hot for the Spot’ – that doesn’t make it any less popular.

If anything, we rush all the more to grab one. It is really at the limit of a cult.

£ 49.99: After £ 250,000 wedding dress, more affordable dress as she and William leave in 2011

£ 49.99: After £ 250,000 wedding dress, more affordable dress as she and William leave in 2011

Tellingly, it is said that before meeting Prince Harry, and as her acting career was taking off, ambitious Meghan Markle hosted a ‘Sayonara Zara’ party at her house, where she donated her cheap clothes. to make room for more expensive parts. , in order to reinvent itself.

If she had stayed longer, I like to think Zara would have found a way back into Meghan’s heart.

If only the same could be said of the British public.


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