H&M pulls controversial vest off shelves

Swedish clothing retailer H&M has pulled a controversial vest off shelves after receiving complaints that the image featured on it was anti-Semitic.

This isn’t the first time a retailer has been called out for featuring edgy designs that could be considered offensive. In fact, it’s not even the first such incident for H&M.

The retailer — which is focused on expanding its presence across the United States — faced public ire last year for carrying a feathered headdress that some Native Americans found offensive.

The latest controversy was sparked by a men’s vest that depicted what looks like a Star of David with a skull drawn inside it.

The company did not immediately respond to an e-mail requesting comment.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that in addition to taking the tank top off shelves, H&M had canceled orders for more.

Some users took to Twitter to complain, including a blogger for The Times of Israel, who first drew attention to the clothing item earlier this week:

H&M: skulls and Stars of David don't match! Let's get this unpleasant vest taken off the rack -- http://t.co/QOmLVIrWKh

— Eylon Aslan-Levy (@Eylon_AL) March 23, 2014

Levy tweeted after the item was withdrawn:

BREAKING NEWS! Storm in a teacup is over: H&M will withdraw the distasteful tank top http://t.co/PNoYueIjbg

— Eylon Aslan-Levy (@Eylon_AL) March 24, 2014

H&M reported earnings earlier this month. The retailer’s net income rose by 7.8 percent in the first quarter, but the company said its profits took a hit because it was investing more to expand its online operations.

Amrita Jayakumar covers national startups, small business issues and entrepreneurship.



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