Zara is facing major backlash over a denim skirt with a cartoon frog resembling that of alt-right mascot, Pepe, which the retailer has since removed.
Cartoonist Matt Furie created Pepe the Frog as a “good-natured” frog. But during the tumultuous election cycle, the cartoon transformed into a white supremacist symbol denounced by the Anti-Defamation League.
The heavily distressed, embroidered light-wash skirt was a part of the retailer’s festival collection, and featured oil-on-denim embellishment.
This is bad pic.twitter.com/8a2cbx0T70
— meagan ? (@meaganrosae) April 18, 2017
Zara has removed the skirt from its website, according to the Guardian. A spokesperson for the company told the Guardian the skirt has “absolutely no link” to Pepe or the alt-right.
“The skirt is part of the limited Oil-On-Denim collection which was created through collaborations with artists and is only available in selected markets,” the spokesperson told the Guardian. “The designer of the skirt is Mario de Santiago, known online as Yimeisgreat. Mario explores social interactions through his work and in his own words: ‘The idea came from a wall painting I drew with friends four years ago.’”
This isn’t Zara’s first apparel-related backlash. The company incited anger in 2014 over a children’s striped shirt with a yellow star, resembling that of the star worn by victims of the Holocaust.