Prague lags behind on fashion

A survey by an online fashion firm has Prague barely in the top half

Prague ranked as the 39th most elegant city out of 80 in a survey published by German shoe and fashion online retailer Zalando. Paris came in first place, followed by London, Vienna, Venice, and Florence. New York was seventh and Milan was ninth.

Prague scored well for its accessibility and desirability but oddly came in very poorly for its architecture, which is one of Prague's main attractions.

The least fashionable city was Istanbul, with Tallinn and Tampere close behind.

The mediocre ranking shows that Prague is not perceived internationally as a fashion capital. “From the grandeur of the Vienna Philharmonic to the effortless sophistication of the French Riviera, elegance wears many masks. It’s not just the people, but the cities themselves, with their unique architecture and cultural landscapes, that make a destination elegant,” Zalando said in its report.

“In order for a city to rank highly, we determined that it must have a thriving fashion scene, culturally and historically significant architecture, high tourism desirability, and an attractive point of entry for visitors, as first impressions matter,” Zalando stated.

“We firmly believe that elegance has nothing to do with how much money a person has. The accessibility score ranks how affordable markers of an elegant lifestyle are according to cost of living and local purchasing power. The results reveal the definitive list of the most elegant world cities this 2017,” Zalando added.

The survey ranked three fashion criteria and five urban criteria plus accessibility to reach a final score, with five being the best. Paris had a score of 4.37, while Prague was at 2.68. Istanbul scored 0.74.

Prague scored highest for accessibility, with 4.24 for 12th place. Prague also scored well for desirability by visitors, with 4.05 for 17th place. This was ranked by the number of overnight visitors per year.

As far as the fashion factors went, Prague did best on fashion schools, with 3.36. As a fashion capital — judged by the number of main fashion ateliers, the number of designers, fashion week's, shows, expos and general events in the city, per year as well as how many world famous fashion designers have lived and worked in these cities — Prague came in at 2.97. It did it a bit worse according to fashion journalists' perception, coming in at 2.28, placing it firmly in the lower half at 44th place.

In urban factors, aside from desirability, Prague scored well for cleanliness, at 3.27. It scored less well for accessibility based on transport hubs, with 2.28.

The city had its lowest scores for architecture with 2.15 for both architecture and architecture journalists' perception. The architecture category was scored by the number of UNESCO cultural heritage sites, museums, opera houses, concert halls, and protected buildings per surface area of the city. Architecture journalists' perception was based on opinions of 2,000 architecture journalists ranking each city according to perceived elegance of the city's architecture.

Prague's city center plus the park at Průhonice together are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, plus the city has three opera houses and a large number of government-sponsored and private museums and galleries, so the score on architecture calls the methodology a bit into question.

Zalando is a fashion company and not a survey firm, so the results are best taken with a grain of salt. Unlike many similar surveys put out by companies not specialized in statistics, the methodology is explained so the results can be questioned critically.

The main point that Prague has a long way to go before it reaches Paris, London, New York and Milan, though, as a fashion center seems valid.

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