Zara Pulls Controversial Ad From Online But Denies It Was In Any Way Inspired By Gaza


Zara is yet to issue an official statement about the photoshoot that left pro-Palestine activists fuming, but it appears its parent company is distancing the ad from comparisons to Gaza.

The “Atelier” collection photoshoot — which features mannequins with missing limbs, white sheets, and a set that has drawn comparison to rubble in Gaza — has been removed from Zara’s website, though it remains published on the fast fashion brand’s Instagram.

Inditex, Zara’s parent company, told Al Jazeera that the controversial campaign was conceived in July and the photographs were taken in September — before the Hamas attack and Israel’s now two-month bombing of Gaza.

The images have garnered heavy backlash and calls for a boycott, with tens of thousands of comments blasting the brand. One user online accused the campaign of “a vile agenda to mock, normalise or make genocide on trend/in Vogue.”

According to Al Jazeera, Inditex said the campaign was inspired by men’s tailoring from past centuries. It did not address the calls for a boycott of the brand, however, it said the campaign was removed for ordinary reasons, as part of its normal process of refreshing content.

The photoshoot is not the first time Zara has garnered backlash from supporters of Palestine.

In 2022, pro-Palestine activists slammed the brand after the owner of its franchise stores in Israel hosted a campaign event for far-right Israeli politician Itamar Ben-Gvir in his home.

The year before that, activists called for a boycott after a head designer from Zara allegedly sent inflammatory messages to Palestinian model Qaher Harhas.

At the time, Zara condemned the alleged messages in a statement.

“Zara does not accept any lack of respect to any culture, religion, country, race or belief. Zara is a diverse company and we shall never tolerate discrimination of any kind,”  the company said.

“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.”

Zara is yet to respond to PEDESTRIAN.TV’s request for comment.