Recently, fast fashion giant Zara faced heavy backlash yet again. The reason? A rather distasteful campaign bearing a haunting similarity to the tragic scenes in Gaza. Titled ‘The Jacket,’ the Zara campaign starred model Kristen McMenamy and was photographed by Tim Walker. The campaign images show McMenamy appears to be holding a mannequin wrapped in white cloth, standing amidst drywall ruins. Further, mannequins with missing limbs also appear in the background.
The Zara campaign, reminiscent of the heartbreaking images of the victims of Gaza, received immense criticism. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had received 50 complaints about the campaign. Amidst the increasing calls for boycotting Zara, the brand pulled the campaign and issued a statement regarding the same.
“Unfortunately, some customers felt offended by these images,” read the post. “People saw in them something far from what was intended when they were created,” said Zara, adding that “the inspiration behind the photographs was unfinished sculptures in a sculptor’s studio.” The brand further emphasized that the campaign was conceived in July and shot in September, pre-dating the events in Gaza. Zara concluded its statement by stating that it “regrets that misunderstanding.”