The blue and white striped smock-like garment bore a large, six-pointed star on the chest and had been available for a short time on Zara's website until outrage prompted the company to withdraw it.
"The original star was inspired by the star worn by the sheriff in (cowboy) Westerns, which also has six points," a company spokeswoman said. "The design has nothing to do with the connotations that have been associated with it."
During their pogroms of Jews in the 1930s and during World War II, the Nazis forced Jewish civilians in Germany and occupied countries to wear a yellow badge in the shape of a Star of David.
"We understand the sensitivity of the subject" and "of course we apologise to our customers," the Zara spokeswoman added. The Spanish fashion brand, which is part of the Inditex group of companies, was roundly criticised in 2007 for selling a bag embroidered with a Nazi swastika which it said a supplier had added without its knowledge. (AFP)