Zara is the world’s largest fashion retailer, with storefronts all over the globe and a massive online shop. With such a large corporation you’d think they could afford to assign someone to review new merchandise for potential offensiveness, eh? Apparently not.
Earlier this month the clothing chain came under fire for releasing a T-shirt with the slogan “White is the new black” on it. While they likely meant it as play on the popular fashion slogan referring to what’s trendy, it comes across as a little racially insensitive.
As if the gaffe this month weren't bad enough, this week the retailer made news yet again for cultural insensitivity — but this time in their children’s line. Zara released a pajama shirt their Twitter feed claims was “inspired by the sheriff’s stars from the classic Western films.” The pajama top was navy and white striped, with a six-pointed yellow star over the heart. While the designers may have been going for cowboy chic, what they got instead was horribly reminiscent of the clothes required of Jews in the concentration camps of the Holocaust — right down to the six-pointed yellow Star of David. Just what every parent wants, their child sleeping in pjs that harken back to the days of Hitler and Nazi Germany.
Zara never publicly commented on their “White is the new black” shirt — rather, it disappeared from their site without comment. They apologized for the Holocaust-esque top, pulling it from their site and promising to burn all of the remaining stock. But two gaffes in one month makes you wonder — do they not vet the clothes they sell, or do they just not care?
Hopefully Zara learns a little about cultural sensitivity following this month’s slip-ups. Their last major fail was back in 2007, when they released handbags embroidered with green swastikas. Those were pulled, apologies were issued and they seemed to have learned their lesson.
Until this month.
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