The fashion company Zara has removed a controversial advertising campaign from the website and official social media handles after pro-Palestine activists called for a boycott of the retailer.
Zara said the campaign had been conceived in July and photographed in September, before the Gaza war erupted in October, and was meant to show unfinished sculptures in a sculptor’s studio.
“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 said in an Instagram post.
The images were used “with the sole purpose of showcasing craftmade garments in an artistic context”, it added.
“Zara regrets that misunderstanding and we reaffirm our deep respect towards everyone,” Zara said.
People left tens of thousands of complaints about the campaign on Zara’s Instagram account, saying the images resembled photos of corpses in white shrouds in Gaza.
“#BoycottZara” trended on social media platforms.
The ad campaign, titled “The Jacket,” showcasing the garment’s versatility, has stirred public outrage due to controversial images reminiscent of Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.
These include unsettling portrayals resembling Islamic burial attire and an upside-down map of Palestine, drawing stark parallels to the Gaza genocide.
The advertisement campaign featured mannequins that were missing limbs and statues wrapped in a white shroud. Some activists said the photographs resembled images from Israel’s assault on Gaza, where thousands of Palestinians have been killed and thousands of others wounded.