While it’s true that many popular clothing trends get their cues from past fashion styles, and it’s much easier and more profitable to recycle an old idea, brand it as “retro” and call it a day, I don’t really think anyone was really clamoring for “Holocaust couture,” were they?
Well, if you were, that’s exactly what the good folks at Zara wanted to bring you.
The Spanish-based clothing retailer, one of the biggest stores in the world, issued a public apology today after receiving massive public backlash over a shirt that, basically, resembled a concentration camp uniform. The blue and white striped boy’s tee with yellow six pointed star, which was sold in Zara’s Swedish, Albanian, French and, holy shit, ISRAELI online stores, was intended to convey a wild west aesthetic, but instead gave off more of an, well, “Auschwitz-y” feel.
Social Media users were not happy about the shirt:
Today in terrible ideas: @Zara markets concentration camp-esque shirts on its Israeli web site http://t.co/3WDxIZZi4W pic.twitter.com/F61EZfD7NW
— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) August 27, 2014
I bet you guys are overreacting about this is Zara shirt business. I mean, how bad could it — oh, holy **it: pic.twitter.com/TauOoBYMDO
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) August 27, 2014
— Nathalie Rothschild (@n_rothschild) August 27, 2014
— Steven I. Weiss (@steveniweiss) August 27, 2014
People also took umbrage with some of the verbiage used in Zara’s apology:
“The item in question, part of the Cowboy Collection for babies, was inspired by the character of the sheriff in Wild West movies. The word ‘Sheriff’ is visible on the star at the front of the item. Nevertheless, we can understand the sensitive context and connotation that was created. The item does not exist in Israel and as soon as the issue became clear, it was decided the product will be removed from shelves across the world and exterminated.”
“Exterminated”. As in, the word the Nazis used to describe what they were actually doing to the Jews in the Holocaust.
@Emmabarnett @ZARA they’ve now removed the item. Their press release in Israel stated the item has been exterminated. = From bad to worse
— Liad Shababo (@L1AD) August 27, 2014
— Eylon Aslan-Levy (@EylonALevy) August 27, 2014
Way to fumble the apology at the one yard line, Zara. Then again, considering these are the same people that had to make a similar apology for putting Swastikas on handbags in 2007, I don’t expect much from these people.
[via 972 Mag]