HIGH-STREET FASHION chain Zara has apologised for selling a T-shirt which resembled uniforms worn by concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust.
The retailer removed the T-shirt — which featured a large yellow star adorned with the word “sheriff”— from its website on Wednesday, just hours after it went on sale online.
A spokesman for Inditex, which owns Zara, said: “The garment was inspired by the classic Western films, but we now recognise that the design could be seen as insensitive and apologise sincerely for any offence caused to our customers.”
The £10.99 T-shirt was designed for children up to three-years-old.
Communal groups condemned the design, with a World Jewish Congress spokesman describing it “reminiscent of the Holocaust.
“The Zara version sported horizontal rather than vertical stripes. However the shirt bore a large yellow star in the exact place where Nazis forced Jews to wear the star of David.”
Gillian Walnes, executive director of the Anne Frank Trust UK, said: “The T-shirt is distasteful. Pure ignorance can be cited as an excuse but someone should have picked this up.
“I am pleased that once the faux-pas was seen, the T-shirt was immediately withdrawn.”
Mark Gardner, director of communications at the Community Security Trust, said: “Whatever Zara’s intention, many people will be really shocked that this could ever have made it past the design stage.”
A spokesman for the Board of Deputies said: “We acknowledge that Zara have apologised but this error has caused enormous hurt in the Jewish community. We urge Zara to take far greater care.”
Jon Benjamin, the former Board of Deputies chief executive, tweeted: “Made in Turkey, but just thoughtless and no quality control at Zara. Shows a lack of education and awareness.”
This is not the first time the brand has come under fire. In 2007, Zara withdrew a line of handbags from its UK stores because they were adorned with swastikas.
Zara said the design could be seen as “offensive”