Such is the case today with Zara Clothing. First let's look at some background before getting into the crux of the story. Zara is a Spanish based clothing and accessory retailor. Zara does men's, women's and children's clothing. Zara is the flagship chain store of the Inditex group which is the world's largest apparel retailer. Inditex group also owns Bershka, Uterque, Maissimo Dutti, Stradivarious and Pull and Bear. So these folks know what they are doing. Daniel Piette the fashion designer for Louis Vuitton is quoted as saying about Zara that they are, "possibly the most innovative and devastating retailer in the world." You get the point; these are big money, big idea, big profit and big intelligent folks.
So . . . . why are they making it on the blog of a guy that will most likely never shop in one of their stores? Simple . . . they did something (to quote Tom Cruise in one of my favorite films), "galacticly stupid". Zara just a few weeks ago put out the following children's t-shirt for sale not only in their retailers in America and across Europe but also online.
Right. For those who have read any world history the obvious thing to notice is how much it just seems to resemble the clothing given to those imprisoned by the Germans at what we now refer to as death camps. If you have seen the recent film "the boy in the striped pajamas" it is hard not to shake your head and wonder, really, Zara.
The thing is that as I am not a "fashion" guy when I read the story I was at first willing to say, OK, stupid but I will give Zara the benefit of the doubt. That's only fair, right. We all make mistakes, yeah?
Well then again . . . I don't think we all make "Zara level" mistakes. Geez. So after Goggling Zara to see I they had ever done anything so goofy I found that they really just might be "galacticly stupid" or maybe even a bit bigoted - I don't know. I am not going to call a Spanish based company bigoted. Stupid, yep. Bigoted . . . that's not my call.
Who would have guessed that in 2009 Zara had to pull the following women's handbag off the shelves after shoppers complained. Really, who would have notice the Swastika embroidered on the bag, really.
Still. That would only be two mistakes, right. Nah . . . Zara also came under fire just thirteen days ago when they dropped (see, I am writing about "fashion" and I get to use those terms . . :-) . . ) a new t-shirt at their New York store (and around the world) that read:
One, two and three strikes. I find this whole thing funny only because Zara has (according to the company website and various news articles) really tried hard to present themselves as eco-friendly company that works with Greenpeace and even uses biodiesel in all transportation. Zara fancies themselves as forward thinking as they have a company "Global Water Strategy" and use only organic cotton. Zara has an animal rights policy and they refuse to test any fragrances on animals.
I don't know and won't assume or accuse Zara of being bigoted. I have no idea. However I will admit that I find it especially funny when a company that has worked so hard to present themselves as very cutting edge and in touch with the most liberal policies gets punked. It gives me a special kind of joy.
P.S. after looking at Zara's website they do have some nice clothing. I will give them that.