Spanish clothing retail chain Zara recently hit the headlines after facing backlash over the release of its latest advertising campaign. Many online said the campaign’s photos resembled images of corpses in white shrouds in Gaza. Netizens said the fast fashion retailer was making fun of the destruction caused by the war between Israel and Hamas. However, the company has apologized and argued that the campaign was created months earlier.
Zara’s advertising campaign titled “The Jacket” featured mannequins with missing limbs and statues covered with white sheets from the landing page of its website and mobile application. The campaign also featured model Kristen McMenamy posing amid rubble. Other pictures showed the model in a wooden box. Although the aim was to promote six new jackets, cracked stones, damaged statues and broken plasterboard caught users’ attention. Some also pointed out that the plywood advertising campaign resembled a map of Palestine. The ad drew criticism from all sides after pro-Palestinian activists said it resembled images of Israel’s attack on Gaza residents.
I’m beyond disgusted. Are you using the genocide of the people of Palestine for your election campaign? I will never buy anything from Zara again. This is absolutely cruel, heartless and evil. Mocking the deaths of more than 20,000 Palestinians for a damn campaign? Udah gila… pic.twitter.com/cefmJE0oLs
— Alexander Thian (@aMrazing) December 10, 2023
Several users called for a boycott of the brand and within a very short time the hashtag “#BoycottZara” became trending on X. More than 100,000 comments with images of the Palestine flag appeared on Zara’s Instagram posts about the photos.
Additionally, People revealed the earlier message that Zara’s head designer Vanessa Perilman sent to Palestinian model Qaher Harhash. “If your people were educated, perhaps they wouldn’t be blowing up hospitals and schools that Israel helped finance in Gaza. “Israelis don’t teach children to hate soldiers or throw stones at them like your people do,” Perilman said in 2021.
Since the boycott began, protesters have gathered outside Zara stores, spray-painted “Free Palestine” slogans on the windows and staged marches inside the stores, carrying bundles of white clothing to mock the campaign’s images.
The fashion brand canceled the advertising campaign and regretted the “misunderstanding”. Zara said that customers “saw something that was far from what was intended when it was created.”
They said: “After listening to comments on Zara Atelier’s latest campaign ‘The Jacket’, we would like to share the following with our customers: The campaign, conceived in July and photographed in September, presents a series of unfinished sculptures in the atelier a sculptor and was created with the sole purpose of presenting handmade garments in an artistic context. Unfortunately, some customers were offended by these images, which have now been removed, and saw in them something far from what was intended at the time. Zara regrets this misunderstanding and we reiterate our deep respect for everyone.”
Additionally, the images were removed from both the website and app at 12:30 GMT on Monday. There was a link on the UK website that led to the Zara Atelier, but last year’s collection was shown there. The current collection includes six jackets, making it one of Zara’s most expensive. Prices range from $229 for a gray wool blazer with chunky knit sleeves to $799 for a studded leather jacket.
Zara is no stranger to controversy. In 2014, they released a T-shirt with the slogan “White is the new black.” While the t-shirt likely referenced the famous Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” or a new fashion trend, some consumers were shocked by the graphic t-shirt’s racist connotations. Two years later, the brand launched a unisex line called “Ungendered.” This included comfortable loungewear and basic clothing items. However, its “major step forward for non-binary acceptance” was met with criticism after many called it a lazy campaign to sell basic clothing.
Source : www.ndtv.com