Zara’s latest fashion campaign, aimed at promoting a new coat from the brand of the Spanish group Inditex, is sparking a wave of anger on social media and even a movement to boycott shopping in the brand’s stores.
The criticism relates to the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, but not to the fact that the two companies are accused of supporting the Israeli government, as in the case of McDonald’s or Starbucks, but rather in response to the alleged similarities in images of Palestinians. The campaign includes scenarios of destruction and killing that Palestinians face.
The images were released as part of the Zara Atelier Collection 04_The Jacket campaign, on the brand’s various social networks and in some of the collection’s stores. These photos show American model Christine McMenamy in what appears to be a destroyed room or house, with rubble as a backdrop, and mannequins and statues covered in plastic.
In the photo that sparked the most controversy, the model appears carrying a mannequin wrapped in a white cloth over her shoulder. Thousands of Muslim netizens quickly pointed out that the models appeared to be wrapped in shrouds, like victims of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, comparing them to “corpses wrapped in white bags, reminiscent of traditional Islamic funeral clothing.”
Zara Atelier. Set 04_Jacket
A limited-edition collection from the house that celebrates our commitment to craftsmanship and passion for artistic expression. https://t.co/EiUO0avB4w pic.twitter.com/nK15aTYNdJ
– ZARA (@ZARA) December 8, 2023
“The award for most sensitive brand of the year goes to Zara,” another netizen says in a critique of the campaign on social media.
Another critic points out, “Using death and destruction as a fashion backdrop is more than just evil, it’s complicity.”
Cash comes from all over the world. Artist Hazem Harb, a Palestinian living in Italy, writes that “there is truly evil corruption in the mind of the seller who produced these ads” and that “it cannot be intentional,” and calls for a boycott of the ads. trade mark.
The topic made headlines in many newspapers in Islamic countries and was the lead on television news. The Express Tribune newspaper wrote that the choice of the campaign was “not a coincidence,” and Al Arabiya asked: “Is Zara mocking the victims of Gaza?” In Tunisia, Business News warned of a “wave of anger, disgust and indignation” in the Arab world due to the campaign.
Two days after the controversial launch, Inditex explained that the photos in question were taken in September, at the home of a sculptor, so it would be impossible for them to have any connection to events in Gaza.
The company also explained, in a statement, that the statues that appear “are molds used by the sculptor and are therefore transported wrapped in a white cloth.” The company spread this message, especially among Arab countries, stressing that “there is no intention” in the advertising campaign.
However, on Sunday, the most controversial photo, showing the model with a mannequin covered in a white cloth, was removed from the company’s website.
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