Zara Is Facing Boycott Calls After Its Latest Photoshoot Drew Comparisons To The War In Gaza

Fast fashion giant Zara is facing boycott calls, after its latest photoshoot drew comparisons to the conflict in Gaza.

Zara unveiled a new campaign last week, showing a model posing amongst packing boxes, broken statues, mannequins covered in white clothes, and rubble.

The series of posts, shared to Zara’s 61.6 million Instagram followers, drew tens of thousands of angry comments, with people accusing Zara of using the war in Gaza as inspiration for the shoot.

“You are in the dark, do you have the heart to make that a joke in your business? Truly destruction will come to you, Zara!” one person wrote on Instagram.

“It doesn’t even look good, artistic or fashionable. Clearly this is a staged shoot for your vile agenda to mock, normalise or make genocide on trend/in Vogue?” said another commenter.

The hashtag #BoycottZara began to trend on X (the site formerly known as Twitter) on Monday, while on TikTok videos calling out the fashion brand were viewed tens of thousands of times.

In one photo, the model is carrying a mannequin covered in a white tarp over their shoulder. Some users believe that Zara was trying to reference recent footage of Palestinians mourning the deaths of their loved ones while holding their kafans — a white shroud or white cloth that is wrapped around a deceased individual in preparation for burial.

This photo appears to have been deleted from Zara’s Instagram account. At the time of publishing, five other posts from the campaign remain live.

One TikToker, who posts under the username Sincerely Awa, pointed out that pieces of ‘rubble’ used in the shoot were reminiscent of the historic Palestinian map, describing the shoot as a “mockery of the pain of the Palestinian people” in a video viewed more than 60,000 times.

“Regardless of whether it was intentional or not, what we should talk about is the fact that art is an aesthetic proposition,” TikToker Austyn de Lugo Liston said in a video viewed more than 450,000 times.

“When you are an artist or a creative and you’re putting images out into the world you do not have control over how those images are interpreted.

“And especially when you’re in the position of representing a corporation, you should be aware of what’s going on in the world and what environment you are sending these images out into.”

What has Zara said about the backlash?

Zara hasn’t offered an explanation for the shoot, nor made a statement on the backlash. PEDESTRIAN.TV has reached out for comment.

However, in 2021, the company said it “does not accept any lack of respect to any culture, religion, country, race or believe”, in response to a message Zara’s head womenswear designer allegedly sent to Palestinian model Qaher Harhas.

“Maybe if your people were educated then they wouldn’t blow up the hospitals and schools that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza,” the message read, according to CNN.

“Israelis don’t teach children to hate nor throw stones at soldiers as your people do.”

In response to the messages, Zara told CNN: “We condemn these comments that do not reflect our core values of respect for one another, and we regret the offence that they have caused. As a diverse and multicultural company, we are committed to ensuring an equitable and inclusive environment as part of our company values.”

The message is being shared again in the wake of this latest campaign. According to the designer’s LinkedIn page, she remains a senior designer with the Spanish company. PEDESTRIAN.TV is not suggesting the designer was involved in this photoshoot.

Image source: Getty Images / Anadolu