19/04/2017 16:59 BST

Zara Responds To Criticism For Denim Skirt's Resemblance To Pepe The Frog

‘The idea came from a wall painting I drew with friends four years ago.’

Zara has responded to criticism they’ve received for a design featured on a denim skirt due to its resemblance to Pepe the Frog. 

The global shopping site has now removed the item for sale after some people took to Twitter to criticise its likeness to the frog character - which has often been portrayed as a symbol for hate groups, and was added to the Anti-Defamation League database of hate symbols in 2016. 

One social media user wrote: “This is bad.”

A spokesperson for Zara commented: 

“The skirt is part of the limited Oil-On-Denim collection which was created through collaborations with artists, and is only available in selected markets.

“The designer of the skirt is Mario de Santiago, known online as Yimeisgreat. Mario explores social interactions through his work and in his own words: ‘The idea came from a wall painting I drew with friends four years ago.’

“There is absolutely no link to the suggested theme.” 

In a similar controversy, in 2014 the Spanish brand was heavily criticised for a striped shirt for children featuring a “sheriff” star. The design sparked a backlash due to its similarity to the clothes worn by Jewish concentration camp prisoners. The item was also removed from their website.