Zara pulls skirt over likeness to alt-right symbol Pepe the frog
During the American election, Pepe was appropriated as a white-supremacist symbol
The Zara denim skirt, which has been withdrawn from sale
Zara has withdrawn a skirt with a frog design from its website after social media users noted its resemblance to Pepe, a cartoon frog popular with the so-called alt-right.
The denim skirt, embroidered with cartoon frogs wearing sunglasses, was being sold as part of the brand’s “festival edition”. But Twitter users were quick to point out its similarities to Pepe.
Writer Meagan Fredette spotted the skirt and told Dazed: “My immediate thought was holy shit, they have no idea what they are doing here, do they?”
The original link to the skirt on Zara’s website now redirects to its front page. The company has not responded to requests for comment.
Pepe the Frog was created by cartoonist Matt Furie, who originally envisaged him as a “chill” and “good-natured” frog. However, over the course of the American electoral campaign, Pepe transformed from an amusing star of weird memes to a white-supremacist symbol denounced by the Anti-Defamation League.
Furie has since teamed up with the ADL in an attempt to reclaim Pepe. He said: “It’s the worst-case scenario for any artist to lose control of their work and eventually have it labelled like a swastika or a burning cross.”
This is not the first time Zara has got in trouble with an ill-judged clothing design. In 2014 it pulled a children’s striped shirt with a yellow star after complaints that it looked like the clothing worn by Holocaust victims.
In 2007 an embroidered handbag was withdrawn from sale after customers noticed it was decorated with green swastikas.