Following the anti-Palestinian comments by Zara’s head designer that received flak on social media, the fashion retailer brand has said it will never tolerate “discrimination of any kind.”
Vanessa Perilman, head designer for Zara’s women’s department, recently reacted against Palestinian model Qaher Harhash’s advocacy for people in Gaza. In an online direct message, the designer reportedly wrote to Harhash, “Maybe if your people were educated then they wouldn’t blow up the hospitals and schools that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza.”
“The people in my industry know the truth about Israel and Palestine and I will never stop defending Israel, and people like you come and go in the end. Israelis don’t teach children to hate nor throw stones at soldiers as your people do,” Perilman wrote.
Talking about the incident Harhash told NBC News in an interview, “I went into their profile, and I saw that it said she’s the senior women’s designer at Zara. So I was like, I backed up, I thought to myself, like first of all, I just don’t want to mess with, with anyone you know.”
However, the model reportedly went on to share screenshots of the messages on Instagram stories. The post went viral and soon #BoycottZara started trending on social media.
Responding to the incident, Zara’s parent company Inditex told NBC News in a statement it “does not accept any lack of respect to any culture, religion, country, race or belief.”
“We condemn these comments that do not reflect our core values of respect for one another, and we regret the offense that they have caused,” they added.
Perilman, on the other hand, went on to apologise to the Palestinian model. “I am so so sorry. I really hope you can forgive me,” she wrote in a message which was also shared by Harhash.