The international clothing chain Zara removed from its website and stores a distressed denim miniskirt printed with an image that resembles the “alt-right” hate symbol Pepe the Frog.
The skirts were withdrawn on Tuesday following a social media backlash, The New York Times reported.
“The skirt is part of the limited Oil-on-Denim collection, which was created through collaborations with artists and is only available in selected markets,” a Zara spokesman told the Times. “The designer of the skirt is Mario de Santiago, known online as Yimeisgreat. There is absolutely no link to the suggested theme.”
Santiago is a Spanish artist who told Zara that the frog face “came from a wall painting I drew with friends four years ago.”
In September, the Anti-Defamation League added the internet meme Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that has become a popular symbol for white supremacists, to its online hate database. Images of the frog, variously portrayed with a Hitler-like mustache, wearing a yarmulke or a Ku Klux Klan hood, proliferated in hateful messages aimed at Jewish and other users on Twitter in the weeks leading up to its inclusion in the online hate database.
In 2014, Zara apologized for selling a blue-and-white-striped shirt with a six-pointed yellow star on the chest for toddler boys that resembled a Holocaust concentration camp inmate’s uniform.
In September 2007, Zara removed a handbag with embroidered swastikas that was manufactured in India and inspired by commonly used Hindu symbols, which include the swastika.