Kristen McMenamy’s Silence Over Zara Jacket Campaign Sparks Anger

A veteran model who starred in Zara’s controversial campaign has been slammed for her radio silence over the matter.

Kristen McMenamy, 59, was the face of the retailer’s 2024 Atelier “The Jacket” campaign which faced backlash for images some say were “Gaza-war inspired” and inappropriate amid the ongoing Israeli military action there. Some criticized mannequins wrapped in white fabric which seemed to resemble dead bodies in Gaza, large boxes that looked like coffins, and trash strewn around which some people claimed looked like rubble.

People called for boycotts of the Spanish brand, which eventually removed the photos from its social media and issued a public statement saying it “regrets that misunderstanding.”

Now McMenamy has become the target of people’s ire as they pleaded with her to speak out on the issue.

Newsweek contacted McMenamy’s modelling agency by email for comment.

On December 10, the American model posted a photo to her 189,000 Instagram followers showing her in track pants for what she deemed was a “sloppy Sunday.”

But people were not too happy that she has not posted since and slammed her in the comments.

“Any thoughts on the genocide-themed photoshoot you’re part of,” one person wrote.

Another added: “I really like her but the Zara campaign is sinister and sick. How can one possibly thinks it’s ok? It’s beyond me!”

And a third commented: “The audacity to post this a day after the Zara campaign???”

 People mourn as they collect the bodies of Palestinians killed in an airstrike on December 13, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. The bodies wrapped in white fabric have become a ubiquitous image since October 7 in Gaza.Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images
People mourn as they collect the bodies of Palestinians killed in an airstrike on December 13, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. The bodies wrapped in white fabric have become a ubiquitous image since October 7 in Gaza.Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Some people did defend McMenamy, with one person saying while they supported her, she should probably still speak out.

“I could be naive, but I doubt you had an awareness of how that shoot would cause such outrage and distress. You are such a unique model and it’s no small thing to get a campaign at your age—it’s obvious how hard you have been working up to that…. The sadistic behavior of the soldiers on top of loss life is unconscionable. I don’t know if you have advisors but I would delete this post and make your thoughts about next steps. If you post like this with no statement of course people will think you are complicit,” they wrote.

 A model poses with a mannequin wrapped in fabric for a new fashion campaign by retailer, Zara. The retailer has apologised for the campaign.Zara
A model poses with a mannequin wrapped in fabric for a new fashion campaign by retailer, Zara. The retailer has apologised for the campaign.Zara

The current Israeli military action comes after the military arm of Palestinian group Hamas’ surprise attack on October 7. That attack killed 1,200 people in Israel and Hamas took about 240 people hostage, some of which have since been freed.

Israeli air strikes and army actions have killed around 18,400 people in Gaza since October 7, according to the Associated Press.

In its public statement, Zara claimed the campaign was formulated in July and shot in September before the war began. However, some critics said it should have reconsidered the imagery before going public with the campaign.

“Unfortunately some customers felt offended by these images, which have now been removed, and saw in them something far from what was intended when they were created,” the company wrote on social media on Tuesday.

“Zara regrets that misunderstanding and we reaffirm our deep respect towards everyone.”

McMenamy rose to fame in the 1990s alongside other supermodels such as Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell, who served as a bridesmaids at her second wedding.

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This story was originally published December 13, 2023, 5:01 AM.


source: star-telegram

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