Zara withdraws swastika handbags
The fashion chain Zara has withdrawn a handbag from its stores after a customer pointed out that the design featured swastikas.
Okay...how many data points do we need for a trend?
I was like "ooh cute bag! ...oh right, swastika."
I got nothin', too busy scraping my jaw off the floor.
After claims that it resembles Holocaust attire? Holy shit. The difference is having a crew neckline instead of a collar and buttons. It doesn't just "resemble", it embodies.
Remembering that Zara is a massive, huge, enormous multinational. Not a cupboard of weavers on the moon.
Keep an eye on peregrinus, he's on the effin' ball today.
Maybe they can salvage this if they can actually find pictures of sheriffs in "Classic Western films" wearing horizontal stripes.
Or... maybe all their designers have been watching classic Western films on busted CRTs?
Two weak coincidences, evidently. Given the context of the swastika on that handbag, I would assume it was put there by some Asian designer using it for its original spiritual implications. And a filled-in gold star is NOT a Mogen David. Our pareidolia is not proof of their bad intent.
Besides, not all Nazis were bad. Some of them just gave in to peer pressure. And I imagine they loved their mothers.
Fashion designers are out of touch with reality, who would have guessed?
But it is at the very least proof of their negligence. There are things you must not do even unintentionally.
I agree, probably not proof of conscious bad intent, but proof of not looking nearly closely enough, thinking hard enough, showing it to folks for their reaction, etc. Yes, the star is definitely more sheriff star shaped than Star of David shaped. But if they'd shown the design to a bunch of folks to get feedback, they'd have easily learned that a whole bunch of people made a negative association with it that they didn't expect. In general, there's a bit of ignorance there. Most folks with even a junior high history class level historical awareness would know that they should be super duper cautious about the holocaust association with gold stars sewn onto shirts and make sure their design doesn't look like anything that any reasonable person would see as being anything like that. If you're going to do a six pointed gold sheriff star, you make wildly sure that the rest of the shirt just screams Wild West or police. If you were aiming for the sheriff association, why would you go with black and white horizontal stripe, the classic pattern for jail prisoner, not lawman?
That is pretty clearly a Sheriff's type star. Though why it's on a stripped shirt like that is bizarre. It really makes it a confusing mess. I highly doubt they did it intentionally to make it look like Nazi era Jew uniforms.
I'm sure they didn't. I bet there was no one thinking "Let's dress kids up concentration camp style!". But shouldn't there have been someone somewhere in the process from design to going on sale who should have taken a look at the design and noticed that while it technically totally isn't a match to Nazi style (a sheriff star instead of Star of David, horizontal stripes rather than vertical) it's close enough to make some people automatically think of the Nazi look? If you'd just passed the image around in an office email, a "look at these new designs we're thinking of adding" memo, you'd have likely found someone who mentioned the unpleasant thing it brings to mind. And as seriously awful as that association is you don't make/buy/order/sell that one, especially if you're a company that had a problem with a swastika on a bag in the past.
If it was my company, and I'd already dealt with the swastika bag issue, I'd have someone in my organization who was the dedicated "No Nazi Stuff" inspector. There would be someone with a decent amount of World War II era historical knowledge who would get an email with every single potential new item before the public ever had a chance to see them and would be tasked with alerting me if there was anything even a teensy weensy bit vaguely possibly able to be construed as bringing Nazi stuff to mind.
It would take a few minutes out of their work days for someone to email that guy and him to take a good look at the designs and yay or nay them and would potentially save the company a ton of bad publicity. Especially when you're not a huge name company that everyone knows. A blunder like that, especially multiple blunders, are going to give a lot of folks a lousy first impression of your brand.
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