H&M withdraws 'offensive' star of David top

The vest top selling at the H&M store in Oxford Street (Photo: Twitter/ Eylon Aslan-Levy)

The vest top selling at the H&M store in Oxford Street (Photo: Twitter/ Eylon Aslan-Levy)

A high-street fashion chain has withdrawn a line of vest tops emblazoned with a skull at the centre of a large star of David.

H&M, which has 3,100 stores across 53 countries, confirmed that the men's vest top was removed on Monday morning in the wake of complaints from angry shoppers.

“The order has been stopped and the others have been pulled,” said a H&M spokeswoman.

“This was because of the feedback we received.”

David Arnold, in a complaint to H&M, said: "I note that your UK store on Oxford Street stocks a tank top featuring a skull superimposed on what resembles a star of David.

"The juxtaposition of a Jewish symbol with satanic imagery is highly offensive and redolent of classic antisemitic imagery."

The spokeswoman said that it had not been the intention of the company to "cause upset.

"Please accept our most sincere apologies that this has caused offence. We understand the criticism and in response to this have decided to remove the T-shirt from all stores with immediate effect.”

But Mark Gardner, director of communications at the Community Security Trust, an antisemitism watchdog, said: “The assumption is that the designer and H&M did not mean to offend Jews.

“Nevertheless, fashion statements can work in diverse ways and if you randomly saw somebody wearing this in the street, then you might well believe it to be antisemitic and purchased from a neo-Nazi website or similar.

“It is for H&M to decide if they care about such things, but would they risk such reactions with a Christian crucifix or a Muslim crescent?”

Last updated: 9:37am, March 25 2014