Zara pulls 'vile Gaza ad' as resurfaced comments arise from head designer

Zara pulls 'vile Gaza ad' as resurfaced comments arise from head designer

Zara has pulled a "tasteless" ad after facing backlash and complaints that it references the Israel-Hamas war.

One of the shots shows a model holding a mannequin wrapped in white material, which some viewers have said resembles a corpse.

The campaign – called The Jacket – contained a series of images in which the model was pictured against a background of cracked stones, damaged statues and broken plasterboard.

Zara said the campaign presented "a series of images of unfinished sculptures in a sculptor’s studio and was created with the sole purpose of showcasing craft-made garments in an artistic context".

However, some viewers suggested they were similar to images emerging from Gaza.

Zara said: "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."

Zara went on to say the campaign was "conceived in July and photographed in September."

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority said it had received 110 complaints that the ad’s imagery referenced the current Israel-Hamas conflict and was offensive.

The watchdog said it was reviewing the complaints but was not currently investigating the ad.

The incident has now drawn attention to a 2021 Instagram DM from Vanessa Perilman, Zara's head designer, to a Palestinian model.

"Maybe if your people were educated, then they wouldn't blow up hospitals and schools that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza," she said to Qaher Harhash, before claiming: "I think it's funny that your (sic) a model because in reality that is against what the Muslim faith believes in and if you were to come out of the closet in any Muslim country you would be stoned to death."

In response, Zara's parent company Inditex said at the time: "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 offense that they have caused," they added.

Perilman still works for Zara, according to her LinkedIn.

Indy100 reached out to Zara for comment

How to join the indy100's free WhatsApp channel

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)