Priscilla Blossom
November 17, 2015 6:48 am

It’s the holidays, the time of year when ugly sweaters come out of the woodwork, but it seems that every year now we’re being faced with a different sort of ugliness. Last year it was about a series of misogynist sweaters with sexist slogans. We’re not even through with November yet and we’re already on our second ugly sweater controversy of the season (the first being Target’s sweater making light of mental illness). This time around, it’s Nordstrom that’s come under fire.

The sweater that was posted on Nordstrom’s website (which has since been taken down) featured a menorah and the words, “Chai Maintenance” (using the Hebrew word meaning “life” to replace “high”). Outraged customers interpreted the holiday sweater as reinforcement of an offensive stereotype about Jewish women— chiming in on social media about the store’s insensitivity.

“As someone who grew up the garment business….Nordstrom should be ashamed about trying to sell their Hanukkah Sweaters….Thinking about boycotting their store. DISGUSTING,” wrote one customer on Facebook. “Not only controversial, but disgustingly tacky,” added another.

Meanwhile, others defended the sweater’s sentiment as nothing more than a harmless joke. “I love this sweater and I AM Chai Maintenance,” wrote a Facebook commenter. “Some people have no sense of humor,” wrote a fellow supporter.

Still, the negative feedback was enough to prompt Nordstrom to react. The retailer quickly pulled the sweater off their shelves, and offered this statement to Fashionista:

Meanwhile, as Seventeen pointed out, the sweater, designed by Faux Real, is still for sale (for $32) on the designer’s site. And according to the Chicago Tribune, the item is selling well enough that the brand has no plans to pull it. They did, however, apologize. ​”We’re just trying to be tacky/funny and we don’t want to offend anybody,” ​Jeff Gray, president of Creative Apparel Concepts​, which makes Faux Real sweaters, told the Tribune. “So if we did, I apologize.”

(Image via Faux Real)

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