Zara biggest fashion force

by Carla Bevan

Marie Claire Fashion News: Zara

Zara has officially overtaken Gap to become the world's largest clothing retailer.

In news which has made the business pages as well as the fashion ones, the Spanish fashion favourite has just recorded a 9% increase in sales, clocking in a massive €2.22bn (£1.7bn), ahead of Gap's €2.17bn.

It might not sound like a big difference, but this is the first time Zara has moved ahead of Gap in sales and marks a huge achievement in the financial world.

As for us? Well, we're not surprised. A straw poll around the office and Zara comes up trumps time and time again. While Gap is still seen as a great place for basics, it fails to respond to catwalk trends in quite the same way and doesn't appear to move at the break-neck fashion speed which Zara does so expertly.

'When I heard the news yesterday, I was actually wearing a top from Zara,' says marieclaire.co.uk editor, Carla Bevan. 'I do pop into Gap now and again, but the last thing I bought from there was a white vest top – and that was actually while I was in New York six months ago, rather than in one of the European stores.'

However, we're not giving up on the American brand completely.

'You can trust Gap,' says marieclaire.co.uk fashion assistant Lucy Hutchings. 'It's great for little cardigans and I do like their T-shirts. I also bought a cute little playsuit from there this summer, which I've worn lots.'

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