Zara responds to backlash over campaign resembling Gaza destruction

Fashion brand 'regrets misunderstanding' surrounding images, which were shot a month before invasion

Deleted images featured in Zara's campaign were criticised for mirroring scenes of turmoil in Gaza. Photo: Zara
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Zara says it regrets its controversial campaign that mirrored Gaza's destruction, labelling it a "misunderstanding".

Days after its Atelier campaign – which featured model Kristen McMenamy standing amid rubble, limbless statues and mannequins wrapped in white cloth and plastic – sparked outrage online, the Spanish retailer backtracked and removed it.

The campaign, called The Jacket, was conceived in July and photographed in September, the month before Israel's bombing campaign and invasion of Gaza, its statement reads. The brand says it intended to present a series of images of unfinished sculptures in a sculptor’s studio and the campaign was created to showcase handmade garments in an artistic context.

The statement adds: “Unfortunately, some customers felt offended by these images, which have now been removed, and saw in them something far from what was intended when created.

"Zara regrets that misunderstanding and we reaffirm our deep respect towards everyone."

On Sunday, The National reported on the international backlash over the campaign.

Many fans were outraged by the images, with some calling for a boycott and questioning how this campaign could have been allowed to be published in light of current events.

The campaign was photographed by Tim Walker with art direction by French-American company Baron & Baron.

Updated: December 12, 2023, 2:16 PM