There are fashion disasters like nip slips and clashing colours, and then there are straight up fashion disasters that 100% should never have ever happened. Well and truly falling into the second category is a $2,835 outfit that looks almost exactly like a concentration camp uniform from the holocaust.
Spanish fashion house, Loewe put out the striped outfit as part of their William De Morgan capsule collection. The collection was meant to be inspired by the English pottery artist and novelist, who lived in the 1800s, but that inspiration isn’t what most people saw.
Vertical stripes as a pattern obviously aren’t out of bounds for fashion designers, but as Diet Prada – an Insta account that acts as a fashion watchdog – pointed out:
“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.”
Loewe has apologised on Insta, saying:
“It was brought to our attention that one of our looks featured in a magazine as part of our Arts and Crafts ceramicist William De Morgan could be misconstrued as referring to one of the most odious moments in the history of mankind.”
“It was absolutely never our intention and we apologize to anyone who might feel we were insensitive to sacred memories. The products featured have been removed from our commercial offering.”
It’s not even as if Loewe didn’t have other examples to learn from. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a few brands accidentally turn the holocaust into fashion.
Urban Outfitters had a grey striped t-shirt with a pink triangle over the breast pulled for looking like the uniform that gay inmates were forced to wear.
Zara had a similar shirt pulled that was meant to look like a cowboy sheriff’s badge, but really just looked like the Star Of David stitched to Jewish people’s clothes when they were in concentration camps.
A lesson for all fashion designers – maybe put two seconds of thought into what your clothes might resemble before putting them out into the world. Also, the holocaust isn’t fashion.