Main | Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fashion Faux Pas

Spain's Zara clothing chain, which has 5500 stores worldwide, has yanked a children's "sheriff" shirt after criticism that it resembles the uniforms worn in Nazi concentration camps. Via the Times Of Israel:
For only NIS 80, your little tyke can have that fashion forward fresh from the concentration camp look now on sale at international chain Zara. The children’s 65% cotton, 35% polyester white shirt with dark horizontal stripes sports a fetching yellow Star of David badge on its left breast. It’s called the “sheriff,” and a closer look reveals that the word is indeed lightly etched upon the badge. Jewish organizations took note of the “campy” look. From the Depths, a nonprofit that works to preserve unmarked graves and repurposed gravestones of Jews killed in Poland, posted a condemnation of the chain on Twitter and sent the company a strongly worded letter and subsequently spoke to the management by phone. In the phone conversation, From the Depths head Jonny Daniels was promised that sale of the shirt would end immediately.
While the shirt has been pulled, the company's clumsy apology hasn't exactly helped. Here's a translation of what was posted in Hebrew on its site in Israel:
The item in question, part of the Cowboy Collection for babies, was inspired by the character of the sheriff in Wild West movies. The word ‘Sheriff’ is visible on the star at the front of the item. Nevertheless, we can understand the sensitive context and connotation that was created. The item does not exist in Israel and as soon as the issue became clear, it was decided the product will be removed from shelves across the world and exterminated. We sincerely apologize if, as a result, we have offended the feelings of our customers.
The above-linked article notes that the Hebrew word for "exterminated" can also mean "destroyed." But that Hebrew word is also "the exact word used to describe the Nazi genocidal practices."

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