Clothing outlet Zara has come under fire for releasing a striped children's pyjama top with a yellow sheriff’s star - as the nightwear closely resembles outfits Jewish holocaust prisoners wore in forced work camps.
The clothing chain has apologised for the clothing line, which it said had been "inspired by classical Western films" after its release sparked outcry across social media platforms.
Speaking on the PR nightmare, a Zara spokesman from its Israeli office said: “The item in question, part of the Cowboy Collection for babies, was inspired by the character of the sheriff in Wild West movies. The word ‘Sheriff’ is visible on the star at the front of the item. Nevertheless, we can understand the sensitive context and connotation that was created.”
“The item does not exist in Israel and as soon as the issue became clear, it was decided the product will be removed from shelves across the world and exterminated.”
Adding: “We sincerely apologise if, as a result, we have offended the feelings of our customers.”
However, the fact the press office used a Hebrew word to describe its removal of the clothing line which can be translated into English as "to destroy" but also "to exterminate" has also raised eyebrows, with 927mag claiming that the Hebrew translation of the word is used to refer to "Nazi genocidal practices".
Twitter users expressed their discontent with the ill-fated garb, mostly shocked at how the product ever made it past the design stage.
— Lior (@i_lior) August 27, 2014
.@zaraclothes do you think dressing babies up like holocaust victims is fashion? http://t.co/NgGvBTikTq pic.twitter.com/Xu4xC3Uzkb — ADAM:ISRAELRADIOGUY (@israelradioguy) August 27, 2014
@raffeg *snorts* Let's give them some credit - it could come in useful on dress-your-child-up-as-a-holocaust-victim day. #hellsno @ZARA — Joanna Braunold (@jobraunold) August 27, 2014
The shirt, which was available on the Zara UK website, was first spotted by Israeli journalist Dimi Reider. It is no longer for sale.
Earlier this month retailer American Apparel received a similar hounding from Twitter users for selling a smutty school girl skirt to under sixteens with an upskirt image.