A clothes designer owned by Swedish chain H&M pulled from stores a T-shirt paying homage to a radical Spanish politician who backed Robin Hood-style looting of supermarkets, the company said Monday.
The Weekday brand owned by H&M, a popular budget fashion store, had released a small line of T-shirts bearing the slogan "Food to the Poor. No world hunger," followed by the politician's name: Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo.
Mr. Sanchez, mayor of the village of Marinaleda in Andalucia, has become a controversial cult figure after he endorsed the looting of two supermarkets last month by activists who gave out the food to the needy.
The shirt, part of a line of topical designs by Weekday, sparked controversy despite being for sale in relatively small numbers, and prompted the company to apologize.
Spanish media saw irony in a global brand championing Sanchez, whose protests have challenged big businesses.
"With regard to the T-shirt that alludes to the mayor of Marinaleda, Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, the Weekday brand has decided to withdraw any samples that may still be on sale," H&M Spain said in a statement on Monday.
"It was never Weekday's intention to take a position [on Sanchez's politics]," the statement added. "It is sorry if any of its clients was offended by the design."