This is not okay.
Prominent retail fashion brand Zara has come under fire with calls to boycott after a designer for the Spanish clothing brand was caught throwing anti-Palestinian remarks.
Vanessa Perilman, the head designer for Zara’s women’s department, allegedly made the controversial comments in a message responding to pro-Palestine posts by a model who later shared her (Vanessa) message on Instagram.
“Maybe if your people were educated, they wouldn’t blow up hospitals and schools that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza,”
The message was sent to Qaher Harhash, a Palestinian model from occupied east Jerusalem.
Perilman continued to say, from the screenshot revealed by Harhash.
“Israelis don’t teach children to hate, nor throw stones at soldiers as your people do, the people in my industry know the truth about Israel and Palestine and I will never stop defending Israel. People like you just come and go in the end. Maybe if your people were educated then they won’t go and blow up schools and hospitals that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza.”
Perilman has since deleted her Instagram account and other social media pages after receiving widespread backlash that has also seen pro-Palestinian advocates complain to Zara.
Harhash ended the story with the hashtag #BoycottZara.
“It was obvious she apologized because she felt threatened by people messaging her and calling out her ignorance,” Harhash wrote on Instagram on Sunday. “So far, Vanessa Perilman hasn’t been fired.”
This issue didn’t die off there though. Many called out the fashion brand for not addressing the statement publicly.
Vanessa Perliman a head designer at Zara DM’d a young Palestinian model this racist garbage and when she was called out gave a lukewarm apology before deleting all her social media. I emailed Zara to demand that disciplinary action be taken and this was their dismal response. pic.twitter.com/eCJ6FUei2u
— Nooran A. (@nooranhamdan) June 11, 2021
@ZARA absolutely disgraceful! Backing these types of comments from your designers no wonder the standards of your clothing has dropped! The company needs to educate itself and its staff! #FreePalestine #zaramustapologize https://t.co/eLtNwPE1zb
— ManUtd89 (@SabrPatience89) June 13, 2021
Harhash himself has called on the public to boycott the brand using the hashtag #BoycottZara. The fashion brand has yet to publicly comment on the controversy, although social media users have shared screenshots of an emailed statement from the retailer claiming the “misunderstanding has been clarified and closed.”
*Cover Image Credits: NSTP