Who is behind “House of Zana”, the brand that beat Zara on a trademark trial

House of Zana Zara


Amber Kotrri is the owner of a small boutique located in Darlington, England named “House of Zana”, any similarities with the Albanian word for fairies (Zana) are true as the name was actually intended to use the Albanian word. Amber’s husband is Albanian and she particularly chose the word from her husband's language, however, this name became also the reason for a long trial with a giant clothing brand such as Zara.

In an exclusive interview with Business Magazine, she tells us about the moment she found out that Zara had opposed her trademark registration claiming that the "House of Zana" has enough similarities with their brand to raise confusion among customers.

"I received opposition for the trademark but I didn't know who it was from, then Zara's lawyers contacted me to say that I had three months to close down my brand or if I didn't do so they would take legal action. I didn't accept to sign this agreement and what is imaginable happened. I was notified that they were taking legal action. I didn't have any lawyers or let alone a legal team to support me so I decided I would represent myself all the way. I always knew they had deeper pockets than me so I gathered my evidence and in May we had a hearing where all the evidence was presented." recounts Amber.

When she received the letter with the decision she was scared to open it in fear that she might need to close down her brand but she says she felt so relieved when she found she had won the trial.

"I am so grateful for all the small businesses that have stood by me, all the customers, and is so fantastic to know that we have beat such a gigantic fashion brand."

House of Zana started online in 2018 and in November they opened their first store in Darlington, the year after they also opened a boutique in Teesside International Airport. However only a year from now Amber decided to trademark her brand but she advises everyone to do that before they register their shop.

Asked about Zara's reasons to oppose her trademark registration she says:

"Honestly I don't really understand Zara's reasons, I have heard that there are teams of Zara who are searching through trademarks to find companies like mine and send these letters to sort of "keep themselves in a job" ".

Amber expresses that she never had seen Zara as her competition as she is not on the market of fast fashion at all, her business stands for a sustainable, luxurious clothing brand. "I feel like Zara would never be my competition as I would never be theirs." ends Amber.

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