Zara’s Brand #FAIL: Toddler T-Shirt Being Linked to an Ominous Period of History

The Spanish chain store, Zara, has come under considerable fire lately for selling, distributing and marketing a shirt that is eerily similar to the uniforms forced on members of the Jewish community in Nazi-era Germany.

Here’s the offending shirt, courtesy of BBC News:

From the BBC: “It was meant to be a Wild West-inspired T-shirt for children, but to some people a children’s top by Zara looked like an eerie reminder of the prison clothing victims of the Holocaust wore.”












From the aforementioned BBC article, we learn the shirt is meant for toddlers and has the word “sheriff” written inside of the star, which is difficult to see online:

Zara’s blue-and-white striped T-shirt was designed for toddlers up to three years old and featured raking buttons on the left shoulder – with a six-pointed gold badge.

All of this begs the question, have you ever seen a sheriff’s outfit that is made up of stripes? No? Could that be because striped outfits are associated with prisoners, not the law enforcers? Well, duh, yes.

The striped garments that prisoners at Auschwitz were forced to wear.

The striped garments that prisoners at Auschwitz were forced to wear.

Zara’s Brand #FAIL  — Not the First Time?

This is such an epic and colossal #FAIL that I almost feel bad writing about it here. So deserving is any derision of Zara’s recent fashion and brand blunder, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. The company did come under fire in 2007 for another controversial item.

An Honest Mistake? Not to Everyone.

Not everyone is convinced this was a completely honest mistake. In an article from the Jewish Press, the following concerns are expressed regarding the manufacturer of the shirt: “At the international corporate level, it probably was a boo-boo. In Turkey, manufacturers very likely knew better.”

The article continues:

Produced is Turkey, the garment is sold online, but apparently only in the Israeli outlet….Zara apologised this afternoon for marketing this product. In a Twitter message, Zara said “We honestly apologize, it was inspired by the sheriff’s stars from the Classic Western films and is no longer in our stores.”

Whatever the case, all accusations of any malice aside, this toddler t-shirt is a major brand fail — and one for the history books!


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