Blog: Michelle RussellZara under fire over "Holocaust" T-shirt

Michelle Russell | 28 August 2014

Inditex-owned fast fashion chain Zara has gone and done it again.

First the Spanish retailer produces a handbag carrying a swastika logo. Now it's a children's striped T-shirt complete with a six-pointed yellow badge that bears a strong resemblance to the Star of David, worn by Jews during the Holocaust.

How do retailers get it so wrong?

Zara has had to confront a wave of criticism this week after a blog pointed out the gaffe on social media. But the company is not alone in having produced questionable garments.

Sportswear brand Umbro was forced to apologise in 2002 for naming a shoe Zyklon, the gas used in concentration camps. Adidas also had to apologise for a trainer that featured slave-like shackles.

Inditex was quick to apologise for any offence caused, which was surely not intended, and reiterated its "utmost respect for all cultures and religions". It added that the design was meant to be a Wild West-inspired sheriff's badge.

But for a fast-fashion chain such as Zara, it is differentiation that sets it apart from others. And Zara prides itself on coming up with creative designs in a timely manner. It is this strategy that has meant Inditex was able to reveal earnings of EUR406m (US$549.5m) in its first-quarter. And also thanks to its tight cost control.

This production speed, which translates into a two-week turnaround from design to potential sale, may go some way to explaining why occasionally, an item such as the "Holocaust" T-shirt might slip the net.

Sectors: Apparel, Manufacturing

Companies: Umbro, Zara, Inditex

BLOG

Why a balanced scorecard drives the best decisions

Among the highlights on just-style last week, we offer advice on how to achieve a balanced scorecard to help supply chain managers make the best decisions around where in the world their garments are ...

BLOG

How social media is forcing apparel brands to think green

Social media, since its evolution, has undoubtedly changed the world as we know it....

NEWS

Sustainable clothing brand among Asics start-ups

A sustainable clothing company that produces its own smart fabrics from exclusively natural and sustainable fibres such as bamboo and seaweed is among the five start-ups chosen to participate in Japan...

BLOG

TAL refocuses and rebalances before growth

By his own admission, Roger Lee, CEO at Hong Kong based apparel giant TAL Group, is an optimist. And it's a trait that has stood him – and the 70-year-old company he leads – in good stead in recent ye...

NEWS

Under Armour to slash 400 more jobs

Under Armour is to cut 3% of its global workforce as part of the US sportswear brand's 2018 restructuring plan in a move it says could push related expenses up to US$220m....

BLOG

VF Corp splitting into two companies

Last week started with news that US apparel giant VF Corp is to spin off the group's denim and outlet businesses into an independent, publicly traded company – in a move that will enable it to focus o...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?