We all know the enormous fast fashion brand Zara, but who and/or what is House of Zana? House of Zana (HOZ) is a sustainable fashion brand founded by Amber Kottri. “Zana” in Albanian means “fairy.” All their garments are handmade by women in Albania, and all the fabric is locally sourced to their studio.
Now what does Zara have to do with House of Zana? The fast-fashion giant is opposing House of Zana‘s trademark application on the grounds that “Zana” is too similar to “Zara” and is likely to cause confusion among consumers. Zara claims that Zana is just “one small brush mark” away from Zara and that the font of HOZ’s logo makes the “Zana” look very close to “Zara.” Ms. Kottri argued and emphasized that the trademark application was for “House of Zana” and that the only abbreviation she has ever used for the store in marketing was “HOZ”, never just simply “Zana”. Zara’s attorney responded by claiming that “House of” was a common term used by many fashion brands that adds little value to the mark. Ms. Kottri pointed to a number of brands that began with “House of” and would be unrecognizable without it.
All these arguments were put out in front of a judge in a tribunal hearing earlier this month. The results are yet to be known but it is clear that House of Zana is not a threat to Zara. This is a classic example of a large company trying to take down any smaller competitors. It’s unfortunate because HOZ is trying to empower Albania women, reduce waste, and promote sustainable fashion, while Zara is definitely doing none of those things and is likely doing the exact opposite. Stay tuned for the results of this unfortunate trademark battle!