Mannequins In White Cloth: What Is The Zara Controversy?

The retailer has since pulled their controversial campaign.

This week saw international clothing retailer Zara pull an advertising campaign after boycott calls arose from activists, who drew comparisons between the campaign’s images and images of the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

Below, everything you need to know about the controversy.

What Was The Zara Campaign Controversy

The controversy surrounds one of Zara’s advertising campaigns, aimed to promote their ‘Atelier’ collection, which featured images of mannequins with missing limbs and wrapped in white cloth.

The campaign’s critics have pointed out the similarities between the imagery and the recent coverage of the war in Gaza, which has increasingly shown images of the dead covered in white shrouds.

One of Zara’s controversial campaign images. (Credit: Zara )

The public’s reaction to the images has been overwhelmingly negative, with activists calling for boycotts of the brand. Zara’s Instagram page was flooded with Palestinian flags and the hashtag, #BoycottZara started trending on X (formerly known as Twitter).

What Has Zara Said About About The Controversy?

Zara has deleted the images from their website’s homepage and social media accounts.

Prior to the controversy, Zara said they were inspired by men’s tailoring throughout history. The images appear to depict an artist’s studio with white paint, ladders and assistants in overalls.

Zara’s images appear to depict an artist’s studio.

The brand has since released a statement, explaining the company “regrets the misunderstanding.”

“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.”

The Atelier collection was allegedly conceived in July, while the photographs were taken in September. The Israel and Hamas war began in October.

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