A luxury fashion brand has apologised after shoppers complained about an outfit selling for almost £1,500 that resembled the striped uniforms worn by concentration camp victims during the Holocaust.
Spanish brand Loewe, which sells in Harrods and Selfridges among other high-end outlets, removed the black and white stripped top and trouser set from its collection after people criticised the likeness.
A spokesperson confirmed that the set had been removed from the collection following complaints.
In an apology posted on social media site Instagram on Friday night, they said: “It was brought to our attention that one of our looks featured in a magazine and part of our Arts and Crafts ceramicist William De Morgan collaboration could be misconstrued as referring to one of the most odious moments in the history of mankind.”
They added: “It was absolutely never our intention and we apologise to anyone who might feel we were insensitive to sacred memories.
“The products featured have been removed from our commercial offering.”
But Jemma Millman from Manchester, who is Jewish, felt the apology did not go far enough. The 30-year-old said: “To not even mention the Holocaust directly is insulting to all affected. Referring to this incident as ‘insensitive to sacred memories’ is even more disrespectful.”
The item’s likeness was highlighted by social-media account ‘Diet Prada’ on Instagram on Friday.
A post, liked by almost 40,000 people, read: “Unable to see anything but concentration camp uniforms in this $1,840 ensemble from Loewe’s William De Morgan capsule, a collection meant to ‘capture a freedom of imagination’.
“But with the particular stripe proportions and layout, uniform-style garments and prominent chest patches, there’s not actually much left to the imagination when the resulting look is so uncannily disturbing.”
Social media followers agreed, with one user writing: “Without even reading the caption I thought about the movie ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, one of the most depressing and heartbreaking ones about the Holocaust. This is so wrong and stupid.”
Other fashion brands have been questioned over lines of clothing that resemble uniforms worn by victims of the Shoah under the Nazi regime.
In 2015, high-street chain Urban Outfitters was criticised by antisemitism watchdog the Anti-Defamation League, for a grey-and-white stripped product with a pink triangle, resembling uniforms worn by gay prisoners in concentration camps. In 2014, Spanish brand Zara removed a blue-and-white top with a yellow star from its children’s collection. And in 2014, brand Mango apologised for a ‘lightning bolt’ blouse that critics said resembled insignia worn by the SS in Nazi Germany.