The brand's "Striped "Sheriff" t-shirt" is a long-sleeved striped shirt that features a sheriff's gold star on the left corner, but to many customers the star -- and the shirt as a whole -- resembled the uniform worn by Jewish prisoners during the Holocaust.
During their time at concentration camps, and even before that, Jews living in Nazi Germany were forced to identify themselves by sewing a gold star with the word "Jew" on their clothing. The controversial garment, made for kids aged three months to three years, evoked comparisons to those times.
The shirt was for sale on Zara's website in the U.K., Israel, France and Denmark, but has since been removed from the brand's website. In response to one the many tweets criticizing the garment, Zara tweeted an apology at user @eylanezekiel.
"We honestly apologize, it was inspired by the sheriff's stars from the Classic Western films and is no longer in our stores," the company wrote.
Zara's parent company Inditex reiterated the message when the brand's Israeli office said in a statement the company "decided to remove the offensive product from the shelves" and "exterminated" it.
"The item in question, part of the Cowboy Collection for babies, was inspired by the character of the sheriff in Wild West movies. The word 'Sheriff' is visible on the star at the front of the item.
Nevertheless, we can understand the sensitive context and connotation that was created. The item does not exist in Israel and as soon as the issue became clear, it was decided the product will be removed from shelves across the world and exterminated."