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

Bangladesh safety gaps still remain

As the apparel industry prepares to mark the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory building tragedy, a new report estimates it could cost US$1.2bn to complete remediation across Bangladesh's rea...

BLOG

Concern mounts over Trump's trade policies

Since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, his administration has been busy fulfilling major campaign promises on trade policy – much to the concern of US fashion brands and apparel ret...

BLOG

Jeans makers eye innovation to regain market share

just-style’s latest weekly roundup begins with a look at how jeans makers are innovating and adapting to evolving consumer needs and the impact of athleisure with new fabric innovation and more sustai...

NEWS

MySize measurement app to boost retail sales

MySize, whose smartphone based measurement technology helps shoppers choose the right sized clothes, is is developing a version of its MySizeID measurement technology that can be seamlessly integrated...

BLOG

Trump's tariffs threaten textile trade

With tariff discussions looming over the White House, just-style’s news and analysis last week was not surprisingly dominated by talk of a possible trade war....

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?