Zara, the Spanish fashion retailer, is currently facing intense social media backlash due to its recent campaign which netizens believe is akin to using death and destruction as a backdrop for fashion.
The company’s most recent campaign, titled The Jacket, which is part of its Atelier series, showcases model Kristen McMenamy holding a mannequin draped in white fabric, which resembles the shrouded bodies of victims of Israel’s indiscriminate war on Gaza. Meanwhile, other mannequins are depicted missing limbs amid a backdrop of rubble.
Social media users also pointed out that one of the pieces of plasterboard in the background of the image resembled an upside down map of Palestine.
Entrepreneur and designer Samira Atash called for a boycott of Zara over the campaign.
Some pointed out the insensitivity of the campaign.
“Using death and destruction as a backdrop for fashion is beyond sinister. It’s complicity and should outrage us as consumers; boycott Zara,” Palestinian artist Hazem Harb wrote on Instagram.
According to Zara, the series is a “limited edition collection celebrating our commitment to craftsmanship and passion for artistic expression”.
When the campaign images went viral on social media and people started calling for a boycott of the brand, the company deleted the picture from its social media handles. However, the company has yet to issue a statement on the matter.
Zara has faced boycott calls in the past as well, such as when Vanessa Perilman, the head designer for the Spanish clothing giant, became embroiled in controversy. It occurred after she made derogatory and Islamophobic comments about Palestine during a conversation with a male model, who subsequently exposed the exchange on social media.
“Maybe if your people were educated then they wouldn’t blow up hospitals and schools that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza,” she wrote to the model.