Releasing your first design collaboration has become a sort of rite of passage for budding fashion brands, as these limited-edition collections have grown and grown in popularity (and the market for them more saturated). Almost six years in the business, Good American has reached this milestone — and with a somewhat surprising partner.
"We're always striving to make the broader fashion industry more inclusive, and partnerships allow us to do that," co-founder and CEO Greede writes in an e-mail to Fashionista. "Our mission for Good American since day one has been to build a fashion brand that is as inclusive as possible — from our product sizing and fit to the models featured in our campaigns — to make women feel empowered, represented and confident. Historically, the fashion industry has been built on standards of exclusivity, and has been notorious for catering to specific body types. My co-founder Khloé Kardashian and I have made it a priority for our full product assortment to be inclusive, without sacrificing style."
In terms of picking a partner to collaborate with, Grede says that "having a shared commitment to further our mission of making the fashion industry more inclusive is a non-negotiable" for Good American. "We infuse inclusivity and representation in everything we do, so we want our partners to have that same dedication. As we've recently earned our B Corp certification, we also look for brands that have a focus on sustainability and are conscious of impact on their community and the planet."
Zara approached Good American about this project, which has been about a year in the making, according to Grede. "I've always admired Zara for being a pioneer in bringing trend-forward fashion to a global audience, so partnering with the brand was a no-brainer for us," she says. "This partnership reflects both our commitments and furthers our mission to make the fashion industry more inclusive, and working with Zara has been such a huge milestone for Good American... Our focus has always been inclusivity in everything we do — across sizing and how we design, in campaigns and e-commerce shoots; it's ingrained into our brand DNA — and Zara has reimagined the fashion industry by making trend-setting fashion widely accessible, so we're thrilled that we were able to fuse our respective expertises for this collection."
Good American x Zara — introduced with a Mario Sorrenti-shot, Alastair McKimm-styled campaign starring Precious Lee, Devyn Garcia, Georgia Palmer, Quannah Chasinghorse, Luca Biggs, Eden Joi and Kayako Higuchi — includes jeans, a jumpsuit, a shacket and a range of shirts and tanks. According to a press release, the product is made using "ecologically grown or recycled cotton and TENCEL fibers," as well as "environmentally friendly production processes," in accordance with Zara's Join Life commitments and Good American's B Corp certification.
"In all our partnerships, we want to work alongside companies that share our values, and we found that in Zara," Grede says, "Take sustainability for example — this is something that is top of mind for both brands, especially coming off of our recent B Corp certification announcement. With Zara, we know they share the same dedication toward sustainability when it comes to using sustainable materials and production processes. With this, it was easy for our teams to work very closely together throughout the entire design and production process." Those processes included sourcing ecologically grown cotton that "uses natural fertilizers and pesticides and avoids the use of genetically modified seeds, which helps preserve seed biodiversity and soil fertility while allowing less water usage and a reduction in emissions."
Good American has expanded into activewear, swim, footwear and more since its (very successful) launch; this Zara collaboration marks its first true product partnership with another brand. Meanwhile, the fast-fashion behemoth has only dabbled in design collaborations in recent memory. In fact, it started releasing co-branded collections in earnest just last year — first with Everlast, then Kassl Additions, then Charlotte Gainsburg, then Ader Error. (In late 2020, Zara linked up with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund on a capsule highlighting its 2019 finalists; on the beauty front, it's also partnered with Jo Malone on fragrances.)
Still, the labor practices of Zara's parent company have continued to come under scrutiny. In mid-2021, Inditex was one of four fashion retailers named in an investigation by France's antiterrorism prosecutor looking into whether they've benefited from forced labor camps in China's Xinjiang region. (In a statement to the New York Times, Inditex denied this, saying: "We have zero tolerance for all forms of forced labor and have established policies and procedures to ensure this practice does not take place in our supply chain. Inditex conducts rigorous traceability controls and we intend to fully cooperate with the French authorities to confirm that the allegations are unfounded.") It has also faced accusations of wage theft. Last year, Inditex signed on to the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry, a successor agreement to the Bangladesh Accord.
Pricing on Good American x Zara ranges from $35.90 to $99.90, and sizing from 00 to 30 and XS to 5XL — a significant expansion for the Spanish retailer, whose denim typically goes from 0 to 14 and XS to XXL online. It arrives in stores and online in the U.S. on May 5; it will also be sold at an immersive, Bureau Betak-produced pop-up experience in L.A.'s West Hollywood neighborhood, that will run from launch day through May 13.
See the lookbook for Good American x Zara, photographed by Sorrenti, in the gallery below.
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