Luxury fashion brand Christian Dior is facing a wave of boycott calls on social media after reports emerged from Turkish and Israeli sources asserting that Palestinian model Bella Hadid had been replaced by Israeli model May Tager in the company’s latest ad campaign.
Christian Dior has yet to issue any comments on the alleged replacement, as reported by Türkiye’s Yeni Safak and Israeli blog Fashion Forward. The credibility of these reports has been doubted, although calls to #BoycottDior have spread across social media platforms, with the reports inspiring substantial attention and debate.
The latest holiday campaign ad by Christian Dior has showcased May Tager as the featured model, as evidenced by posts shared to her Instagram account last week.
Bella Hadid’s unique position as the first Dior brand ambassador with a Palestinian heritage began in 2016, and she has actively used her platform to advocate for the rights of Palestinians. However, she refrained from speaking out for several weeks following the Hamas attack on October 7, and the subsequent severe bombing of Gaza by Israel. On October 26, she finally took to Instagram to reveal that her phone number had been leaked online, resulting in her being bombarded with “hundreds of death threats” on a daily basis.
Hadid had earlier made a commitment in her first Instagram post following the declaration of war, in which she announced her refusal to be intimidated, emphasizing, “The people and children of Palestine, especially in Gaza, cannot afford our silence. We are not brave – they are.”
She further mourned the loss of lives on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides, asserting her sorrow for the residents of Gaza who were experiencing “generational trauma” on top of the immediate crisis. She shed light on the plight of Palestinians, expressing the importance of understanding the hardship they face on a daily basis and recounting her own family’s story of suffering during the Nakba of 1948.
Additionally, she acknowledged the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza and called for the upholding of war laws, asserting that these laws must be followed regardless of the circumstances. Bella Hadid, whose siblings Gigi and Anwar are also models, had previously reported a significant loss of work as a result of her unwavering support for Palestine, which had even led to the departure of some of her friends. Despite previous calls for Dior to sever their ties with her, the brand had chosen not to capitulate to those demands.
Given Bella Hadid’s influence and the fervent support she has offered to Palestine, Dior’s alleged replacement of her with an Israeli model has sparked outrage on social media. However, the company has remained silent on the issue so far.
The situation has raised questions about the political and cultural implications that extend beyond the fashion industry, touching upon broader and deeply rooted geopolitical conflicts. With #BoycottDior trending and the fashion house coming under increasing pressure, the controversy shows no sign of abating at present.
On social media, people have taken both sides, contributing to the escalating discussion. The debate has transcended the confines of a corporate decision and is spilling over into the overlapping realms of politics, identity, and human rights, generating considerable attention and scrutiny.
Christian Dior could face significant repercussions from the controversy, regardless of its response, as it is now at the center of a multifaceted and polarizing debate that transcends couture and commerce. With observers and participants spectating closely from around the globe, the heated discourse surrounding Dior’s choice signifies the extent to which fashion, culture, and global politics intersect, thereby drawing intense scrutiny and feedback from the public.