Retailer Zara has pulled a shirt that many said looked like Holocaust attire. Promoted as a "striped 'sheriff' t-shirt," the product reminded people of the Star of David and stripes (although they were vertical) worn by Jewish prisoners in concentration camps.
The company apologized in a tweet: "We honestly apologize, it was inspired by the sheriff's stars from the Classic Western films and is no longer in our stores."
Inditex, Zara's parent company, also posted a news article to provide background and apologize:
Zara Kids has removed a children's t-shirt from its stores and website. The t-shirt withdrawn was inspired by the classic American Westerns and has been taken out of circulation due to the potential similarity with the Star of David that has been used as a yellow star patch. Zara has issued a heartfelt apology on its social network profiles.
The garment was available only for just a few hours and sales of the t-shirt have been marginal. The items will be reliably destroyed.
Inditex would like to reiterate its utmost respect for all cultures and religions. The Group is a Company where people from 180 nationalities work together representing all the cultures, races and religions of the modern world. Inditex is proud of its cultural diversity. In addition, respect and dignity feature among the principles which guide and define its corporate values. The Group condemns and rejects any form of discrimination.
This isn't the first time Zara used Nazi-reminiscent images. In 2007, Zara pulled a handbag with swastikas, which the company says were made in Asia, where the image has a different cultural significance.
- Do you believe that the shirt was an innocent mistake? Why or why not?
- Assess the parent company's message. How well does it rebuild the brand image?
- Does this news affect your decision to shop at Zara?