Zara is selling a Rs19,500 kameez and calling it an 'oversize shirt'

Published 19 Mar, 2021 12:35pm

Images Staff

This isn't the first time the company has tried to 'reinvent' the kameez.

Spanish clothing retailer Zara is selling an 'oversize shirt' on its website that looks suspiciously familiar. It looks like an outfit worn by millions upon millions of desi women every day but we call it something else — a kameez.

Zara may be calling the £89.99 (or Rs19,537.25) outfit a 'long oversize collared shirt with long drop-shoulder sleeves and cuffs' but we're calling it a kameez. A kameez by any other name is still a kameez.

It's not even an exceptionally nice kameez. The outfit is made of rayon and looks like something that might have been popular in Pakistan in the 80s.

One Twitter user said she wouldn't wear this outfit if someone paid her to do it, and we're with her. We wouldn't wear this either.

The news was first pointed out by journalist Sabbiyah Pervez on Twitter.

She said that she could have both the cloth and asked her mother to stitch it for her and saved £70.

Someone noted that shalwar kameez is trendy if it isn't on a South Asian person and she's onto something with that argument.

Other people recalled how they were made fun of for wearing shalwar kameez abroad. That's what makes doing things like this even worse. People are made fun of for wearing their cultural clothes but once you put it on someone from outside that culture and slap on a hefty price tag, it becomes cool.

This isn't even the first time Zara has made shalwar kameez and tried passing it off as something else.

Putting a blazer on over it doesn't hide its true nature!

It's getting funnier.

Why buy Rs2,000 shirts when you can buy them for £80 instead?

The appropriation isn't limited to women's clothes.

This isn't the first time a Western retailer has 'reimagined' a desi piece of clothing. UK store Thrifted sold kurtas without pants and called them dresses, New York-based brand Sea sold Ajrak tops and called the colour 'brick multi', Christian Louboutin sold Peshawari chapals and called them Imran sandals.

When will these brands realise they would be better off designing new clothes instead of 'reinventing' clothes that millions of people already wear and calling them their own?