Zara’s apology is too little, too late for some consumers

Zara store: Picture: Reuters/Andrea Comas

Zara store: Picture: Reuters/Andrea Comas

Published Dec 12, 2023


Over the weekend, Spanish fast fashion retailer Zara was trending on social media due to the release of their Atelier 'The Jacket' campaign images.

The visuals caused controversy because social media users compared them to images resembling that of the destruction in Gaza.

Since then, the hashtag #boycottzara has gone viral with many withdrawing support of the brand.

On Monday, after removing all the social media posts of the campaign, the company took to Instagram to share an explanation about the campaign, saying: “After listening to comments regarding the latest Zara Atelier campaign ‘The Jacket’, we would like to share the following with our customers:

“The campaign, that was conceived in July and photographed in September, presents a series of images of unfinished sculptures in a sculptor’s studio and was created with the sole purpose of showcasing craftmade garments in an artistic context.

“Unfortunately, some customers felt offended by these images, which have now been removed, and saw in them something far from what was intended when they were created.

“Zara regrets that misunderstanding and we reaffirm our deep respect towards everyone.”

However, many people have not accepted this response.

“Still posting it in the midst of the chaos is so insensitive of you. You had the choice to not post it, seriously,” responded one person.

“We all know campaigns are planned in advance but I’m sure there is some intelligence that at least some people were not tone deaf to current affairs before you pushed the campaign to go live.

“What a poor response to the worst atrocities we are seeing in our lifetime. You need to do better and oh by the way it’s G@za in P@le$tine that you’ve disregarded here, in case you’re not aware. Honestly shameful and what a big ‘mistake,’” commented another.

In 2021, Zara’s head women’s designer, Vanessa Perilman, came under fire for sending inflammatory messages to Palestinian model Qaher Harhash on Instagram.

At the time, the model posted pro-Palestinian content on his Instagram account and it appeared Perilman responded to a post via direct message.

A screenshot of her message to Harhash read as follows: “Maybe if your people were educated then they wouldn’t blow up the hospitals and schools that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza. Israelis don’t teach children to hate nor throw stones at soldiers as your people do.”

Zara condemned Perilman’s comments, saying: “Zara does not accept any lack of respect to any culture, religion, country, race or belief. Zara is a diverse company and we shall never tolerate discrimination of any kind.”

“We condemn these comments that do not reflect our core values of respect for one another, and we regret the offence that they have caused.

“As a diverse and multicultural company, we are committed to ensuring an equitable and inclusive environment as part of our company values.”

IOL Lifestyle