A fashion house pulled striped pajamas from its winter menswear collection Tuesday after the European Jewish Congress said they resembled uniforms worn by Holocaust victims.
The pajamas, designed by Rei Kawabuko of Comme des Garcons, were part of a collection called “Sleep,” first shown two weeks ago.
The collection evokes images of a nightmare, the European Jewish Congress said.
“The striped pajamas shown by an emaciated model are particularly shocking,” the group said in a statement, adding the style “banalizes events that shattered the world 50 years ago.”
The pajama collection was inspired by the English gentlemen’s custom of donning special clothing for earlymorning and late-night lolling, Comme des Garcons spokeswoman Ina Delcourt said.
The fashion house issued a statement acknowledging it “unwittingly” had prompted “some people to remember the terrible events of World War II.”
It said the pajamas were being withdrawn “as a measure of respect to those who have been shocked.”
The European Jewish Congress said it welcomes the decision.
Kawabuko, a Japanese designer, said she was surprised and saddened by the misinterpretation.
“Personally, I have always deeply respected the Jewish people and felt close to them in my heart,” she said.
Last year, Muslims were outraged by Chanel bustiers embroidered with verses of the Koran. Chanel withdrew the garments.