Zara under fire after head designer’s ‘racist’ message to Palestinian model | Fashion Trends - Hindustan Times

Zara under fire after head designer’s ‘racist’ message to Palestinian model

ByZarafshan Shiraz
Jun 15, 2021 02:46 PM IST

Social media users trend hashtags #BoycottZara and #ZaraMustApologise after Palestinian model Qaher Harhash exposes anti-Palestinian and ‘Islamophobic’ conversation with Vanessa Perilman, Head Designer for Spanish clothing giant Zara

Fashion giant Zara is under fire after Head Designer women's department, Vanessa Perilman, attacked Palestinian model Qaher Harhash on Instagram. Caught spewing anti-Palestinian rhetoric, Vanessa allegedly sent controversial messages to Qaher in response to pro-Palestine posts by the model from occupied east Jerusalem.

Zara faces calls for boycott after head designer’s ‘racist’ message to Palestinian model(Twitter/CapitalMoments)
Zara faces calls for boycott after head designer’s ‘racist’ message to Palestinian model(Twitter/CapitalMoments)

Qaher later shared screenshots of their conversation on Instagram where Vanessa not only put the blame of terrorism in Gaza on Palestinian victims but also attacked the model's Muslim faith. Her message read, “Maybe if your people were educated then they wouldn't blow up hospitals and schools that Israel helped to pay for in Gaza.”

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She added, “I think it's funny that you're a model because in reality, that is against what the Muslim faith believes in and if you were to come out of the closet in any Muslim country, you would be stoned to death.”

Livid by these hateful messages, social media users started trending hashtags like #BoycottZara and #ZaraMustApologise to condemn the fast fashion brand’s complicity with the racist and Islamophobic comments made by the designer and soon enough, screenshots of the conversation gained exposure across Twitter. While one user wrote, “Dear @Zara, Your head designer’s anti-Palestinian & Islamophobic tirade is sheer racism How will you respond — especially since billions of Muslims shop at your stores globally? (sic)”, another asserted, “just in case anyone missed what zara’s head of design or whatever she is said. It’s MUCH WORSE than the one part going around and the fashion industry at all levels needs to take a hard look at themselves and the racist xenophobic beliefs that are so apparent (sic)”and yet another conemned, “Wow @ZARA ...maybe follow the reality more closely. You’re supporting settlers screaming ‘Death to Arabs’ and bombing Palestinians in Gaza. You continue to lend Israeli persecution your name. Be more than a brand. Have the guts to actually support people live, and live freely (sic).”

Check out Twitter’s calling for Zara's boycott and firing of the head designer here:

Concerned about losing her job amid the widespread backlash, Vanessa apologised to Qaher before deleting her Instagram account and other social media pages. The model revealed later that the Spanish high-street brand had asked him to share Vanessa’s apology publicily but he refused saying, “If Zara wants to make a statement with me, they also need to address Islamophobia. When certain fashion designers said anti-Semitic things, they were fired from their jobs.” He added, “So far, Vanessa Perilman hasn't been fired.”

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