Shoppers are calling for a boycott of fast fashion giant Zara over its latest campaign, which features images of rubble and mannequins in body bags.
The retailer shared photos of its latest Zara Atelier collection, worn by American model Kristen McMenamy in a room surrounded by statues covered in plaster and paint. According to the captions, the collection is a “limited edition” and celebrates the brand’s “commitment to craftsmanship and passion for artistic expression”.
But the photos have caused outrage over their reminiscence of the violence taking place in Gaza and Israel, as many around the world are calling for a permanent ceasefire to end the conflict.
The fashion retailer has not responded to a backlash online after the images were released; but perhaps the most controversial photo, featuring McMenamy holding what appeared to be the body of a mannequin wrapped in white sheets, has since been removed from Zara’s social media pages.
One user of X (formerly Twitter) wrote online: “The latest Zara campaign depicts what appears to be dead bodies wrapped in white body bags, reminiscent of traditional Muslim burial attire, as well rocks, dust and rubble. What were they thinking? This is intentional at this point.”
Another commented: “And the award for the most tone-deaf brand of the year goes to Zara. Using imagery of Israel’s genocide of Palestinians to sell their fast fashion brand of clothing.”
Another shopper called into question the intentions behind the timing and design of the campaign, writing: “Call me insane but Zara’s new collection can’t just be a coincidence ... like there’s no way this is the advertising during these times when there’s a genocide going on”.
The controversial campaign has prompted many shoppers to call for a boycott against the brand, with one slamming Zara for “using the death and destruction in Gaza to sell their low-quality, fast fashion items”.
It’s not the first time a fashion brand has come under scrutiny for a questionable campaign.
In 2022, Balenciaga raised eyebrows with its imagery of a fashion shoot placing children alongside BDSM-themed props.
Kim Kardashian, who has worked with the brand several times, shared a statement on her Instagram page following the outcry, writing: “I have been quiet for the past few days, not because I haven’t been shocked and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns, but because I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened.
“As a mother-of-four, I have been shaken by those disturbing images. The safety of children must be held with the highest regard and anything against it should have no place in our society - period.”