By Naima Karp
Zara claim that the children’s shirt pictured above was intended as an innocent play on a ‘sheriff shirt’. Its similarity to clothing worn by concentration camp prisoners during World War II has nevertheless offended and appalled shoppers around the world and as a result of the backlash, the company has decided to pull the shirt from stores and make a public apology.
The Spanish clothing retailer- which now has stores in over 80 countries- is clinging to its reputation, explaining that concentration camp shirts featured vertical, not horizontal stripes and that the yellow star on the Zara shirt quite prominently has “sheriff” embroidered on it.
Zara claim that their inspiration came from classic Western films but given the large amount of other inspiration available to play with from that genre- including cowboy boots and hats- the incident still raises questions about the brand’s intent or willful blindness.
This isn’t the first time Zara’s designs have caused offence – The Guardian newspaper chronicled the brand’s 2007 inclusion of swastikas on handbags.
What do you think? Offensive, or true faux pas?