Zara Pulls Divisive Skirt Design After People Associate It To Hate Meme ‘Pepe’
By Hannah Sofea, 21 Apr 2017
‘This is bad’, image via meaganrosae and featured with permission
Fashion retailer Zara has come under fire—yet again—for the design of one denim skirt inside its latest collection, which is a collaboration with artist Mario de Santiago. The series is inspired by pop culture, abstract colors, and wild imagery, a running theme Santiago is widely known for.
While the collection is, by and large, visually-pleasing—and one to die for if you’re a sucker for street wear—the denim skirt in particular, caused a stir on social media.
You might be familiar with the famed ‘Pepe the Meme’ frog and seen it widely used all over the internet. The visual has been adopted by the neo-Nazis and serves as an icon representing the white nationalist alt-right movement.
The famous icon originated from a character done by Matt Furie back in 2005, which was meant to be a laid-back frog in the author’s comic book series. Things took a turn after it grew in popularity among internet trolls and hate groups. The once seemingly innocent graphic was declared a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League in September 2016.
While some netizens were unimpressed by Zara’s approval of the skirt design, others voiced out the absurdity behind the association because clearly, it’s not ‘Pepe’, but ‘Old Man Jenkins’ from SpongeBob SquarePants.
In a statement emailed to Mashable, Zara’s spokesperson defied any attachment to the meme, saying that the mentioned skirt was part of a limited collection with Santiago.
“Mario explores social interaction through his work and in his own words: ‘The idea came from a wall painting I drew with friends some years ago.’ There is absolutely no link to the suggested theme,” mentioned the spokesperson.
Have a look through the series of responses below. Zara has since removed the apparel from the collection.
Zara is really out there trying to sell a P*pe the frog skirt, apparently unaware (?) of its current implications https://t.co/gQ3bimsdg2— meagan 🥀 (@meaganrosae) April 18, 2017
Tweet via meaganrosae
no offense but the zara skirt is not pepe it's clearly old man jenkins pic.twitter.com/ioGd8USr8m— vanessa (@yarnessa) April 19, 2017
Image via yarnessa
Tweet via CBGEEBS
Hello I am never going to stop laughing about this https://t.co/fsoX252p0q— Elena (@elenaatt) April 20, 2017
Image via elenaatt
So apparently Pepe's a symbol of the alt-right? I'm more offended by the fact that it's 2017 and Zara are selling 2010 meme skirts https://t.co/17lKzHakdC— charlton banks (@charlottedawko) April 18, 2017
Tweet via charlottedawko
i lose hours of sleep thinking about the fact that pepe the frog is now a hate symbol— Dean Dobbs (@DeanDobbs) April 18, 2017
Tweet via DeanDobbs
Tweet via goodbyenicholas
[via Mashable, tweets via various sources]
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