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Zara Apologizes for Upsetting Shoppers With T-Shirt

The striped t-shirt with a six-pointed yellow star was on sale in several countries, including Israel, today until the Inditex SA-owned brand realized it was a sensitive issue and decided to pull it, a company spokeswoman said. The star was meant to resemble a sheriff’s badge. Source: screenshot
The striped t-shirt with a six-pointed yellow star was on sale in several countries, including Israel, today until the Inditex SA-owned brand realized it was a sensitive issue and decided to pull it, a company spokeswoman said. The star was meant to resemble a sheriff’s badge. Source: screenshot

Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Zara said it will destroy striped shirts emblazoned with a yellow star after the items drew criticism across social media for resembling uniforms worn at concentration camps during the Holocaust.

The striped T-shirt with a six-pointed yellow star was on sale in several countries, including Israel, today for a few hours until the Inditex SA-owned brand realized it was a sensitive issue and decided to pull it, a company spokeswoman said. Sales of the shirt were marginal, Zara said.

The T-shirt “has been taken out of circulation due to the potential similarity with the Star of David that has been used as a yellow star patch,” the retailer said today. The company apologized for the item, whose star bore the word “sheriff” and which was meant to resemble a shirt from “classic American Westerns,” it said.

This is not the first time that Zara and its rivals have met criticism from shoppers. A swastika-decorated handbag was removed from Zara’s stores in 2007. Stockholm-based rival Hennes & Mauritz AB earlier this year pulled a tank-top with a human skull inside a Star of David. Zara is well-known for turning ideas into fashions at a breakneck pace, often taking just weeks to turn a design into clothing for sale in a shop.

“With the speed and volume of styles going through the business it is often not until the garments hit the shop floor or website that the wider, and better informed, public points” out a potential issue, Maureen Hinton, an analyst at retail consultancy Conlumino, wrote in an e-mail.

Inditex today said it “condemns and rejects any form of discrimination.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Katarina Gustafsson in Stockholm at kgustafsson@bloomberg.net; Rodrigo Orihuela in Madrid at rorihuela@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net Thomas Mulier, Robert Valpuesta

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