Zara has sparked controversy after selling a new T-shirt in stores that has offended customers.
The design, a plain white T-shirt with the words “White Is The New Black” printed across the chest, may be a reference to TV series “Orange is the New Black,” or even a play on the commonly-used fashion phrase relating to a new trend, but some have some found it offensive and racist, the Daily Mail reports.
The item has caused outrage on social media, with one person tweeting:
@ZARA With all the uproar about cultural appropriation, did you really think it was a good idea to print a "White is the New Black" shirt?— Elle (@QFTPC) August 12, 2014
Another Twitter user wrote:
Dumb, why would you think creating a shirt that says "White is The New Black" would not be controversial.— erin ashley (@bellametaphor) August 13, 2014
Zara is based in Spain, so the blunder could be due to a language barrier, some people say.
It should be noted that the clothing retailer has similar T-shirts with the words “Leopard is the new black,” written in leopard-print letters.
According to the Huffington Post, the shirt isn’t currently for sale on Zara’s website, which makes it hard to find out when it was first released. It could’ve been taken down, or it’s not currently available yet in North America. Either way, the brand has yet to comment on the issue.