Zara Now Faces More Than A Boycott

Zara Now Faces More Than A Boycott

News by Roberto Orosa
Published: December 19, 2023

People all over the world are now protesting against Spanish fashion giant Zara over its most recent ad campaign supposedly depicting Gazan casualties from the Israel-Hamas conflict.

In the past week, protests spurred across multiple Zara stores, including branches in Ottawa, Toronto, and Ontario, Canada, where pro-Palestinian supporters would chant "We charge you with genocide."

Protests have also erupted in Glasgow, Germany, Turkey, Australia, and South Africa, with some Zara stores closing down indefinitely. 

In Irvine, California, protesters are seen chanting "While you're shopping bombs are dropping," while donning Palestinian flags and carrying bloodied figurines wrapped in white cloth, similar to the images in Zara's campaign.  

From Boycotts To Protests

The campaign "The Jacket" launched in December features American model Kristen McMenamy carrying what seems to be mannequins wrapped in white cloth. Her surroundings are adorned with rubble, and mannequins with missing body parts seen against an all-white backdrop.

Netizens were quick to notice its visual similarities to traditional Muslim attire, and how the cardboard cutouts seen in the campaign visuals resemble the Palestine map. Following this, several calls to boycott the brand ran across social media, accusing Zara of mocking the casualties in Gaza.

Due to the heightened tensions, Zara released a statement explaining that the entire concept of the campaign was conceived in July and photographed in September, long before the events that took place on October 7. 

"Zara regrets that misunderstanding and we reaffirm our deep respect towards everyone," it explained in a statement.

While the fast fashion giant has since removed the campaign from its socials, the backlash has evolved from mere boycotts to physical protests happening in Zara branches across the globe.

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