Take a look at this Zara t-shirt. It's called "The Sheriff", but what do you think it looks like? According to a whole lot of people on social media, it resembles the top of a Nazi concentration camp uniform, and the resulting outrage has forced the Spanish brand to pull the garment from stores and issue an apology for the insensitive mix-up.
On Wednesday, Twitter users pointed out that the children's shirt, which features blue and white stripes and a six-pointed gold star, bears an uncanny resemblance to uniforms worn by Jewish concentration camp prisoners.
Israeli journalist Dimi Reider, writing for 972mag.com, was one of the first to notice the similarities. "It’s a SHERIFF shirt for your three-year-old. Obviously. What else could it be?" he wrote. “Why, what else does it remind you of?”
The top was available on Zara's UK homepage, as well as on its various websites for Israel, France, Albania, Sweden and Denmark. According to the brand, the shirt was meant to have a Wild West aesthetic, hence the Star of David lookalike badge.
“The tee shirt has already been withdrawn,” a Zara spokesperson told the Jerusalem Post. “It has nothing to do with the second world war or whatever. The inspiration had to do with the old classic western movies. Obviously we are very attentive to the sensitivity of our customers. We made a mistake in this case."
Zara has spent most of today apologising to customers in various languages:
@eylanezekiel We honestly apologize, it was inspired by the sheriff’s stars from the Classic Western films and is no longer in our stores
Unfortunately, this is not the first time the company has been accused of unintentional anti-semitism in its designs – back in 2007, it had to withdraw a handbag from sale after one customer noticed that it featured a swastika print.