Someone’s really got to talk to the design team over at Zara because lately, the retailer has been pissing everyone off with some questionable T-shirts. Earlier this month, it sparked outrage for producing a tee that read “White Is The New Black.” Several annoyed customers called the shirt, at worst, racist, at best, problematic. Of course, no one’s sure if Zara was trying to make a racial statement with the piece (the brand probably wasn’t), but at the very least, it should have predicted that some folks might not take too kindly to that slogan. Simple oversight could have prevented that debacle.
But it looks like the retailer still has not learned its lesson. Zara’s coming under fire once again for another top, this one made for children. The retailer unveiled a kids’ striped T-shirt boasting a yellow sheriff star appliqué. Unfortunately, too many customers thought the flourish looked more like the Star of David, which is understandable considering the word “Sheriff” is only barely visible if you look very, very closely.
Critics of the shirt say it too closely resembles the uniforms Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis during the Holocaust. The only difference here is that the stripes are horizontal, whereas the uniforms from the 40s had vertical ones. Now, one look at the shirt could have given the folks at Zara a clue that perhaps this design was not the most prudent to produce, but you know what they say about common sense…
After outraged customers hit up the retailer on social media, Zara came forward to apologize for the offensive shirt via Twitter. The retailer responded to several tweets complaining about the shirt. “We honestly apologize, the T-shirt was inspired by the sheriff’s stars from the Classic Western films and is no longer in our stores,” the brand tweeted in a number of different languages.
Zara Israel also released a statement to web magazine +972, in which it was apologetic, but vowed to “exterminate” the offensive top from shelves, which, goodness gracious, could not be more of an inappropriate word to use in this situation!
While the Internet fights over whether or not people should be offended by this misstep, it’s clear that Zara could use a little more oversight on design. It was most likely not Zara’s intent to put out the offensive shirt, but as a Reddit commenter pointed out, it was “a very clumsy move, especially for [a] European firm.” Indeed.