Global fashion brand Zara reached out and apologized to a Filipino trans woman, whose TikTok video went viral after she recounted her experience of being barred from trying on clothes at the women’s fitting room in its branch at Bonifacio Global City.
In the original video, Marasigan showed the pile of clothes she was paying for at the counter, sharing that she had been unable to try them on because a Zara BGC employee had prohibited her to fit them in the women’s dressing room, pointing her to the men’s fitting room, citing that the staff had been receiving “a lot of complaints.”
Another video shows the woman in tears outside the store, recounting how she had dealt with the female staff who even called her “sir” and said that they might receive complaints, despite the fact that no one else was present in the fitting rooms.
Louis Marasigan, who is also a municipal councilor in San Juan, Batangas, revealed that the brand had reached out “from a global perspective” two days after posting the original video, with screenshots of calls coming from a number in Shanghai, China.
Marasigan said that she had a long conversation with a brand representative, who invited the content creator to visit Zara’s BGC store again, witness the staff’s gender sensitivity training firsthand and offer points for further improvement.
@luismarasigan Replying to @Angelo Marasigan LGBT community tagumpay naten eto! Habang nag iintay pa ng durther updates mula sa @ZARA ♬ original sound – Angelo Marasigan
“First of all, they said sorry to me. And with that sorry came an offer. They offered me to visit Zara BGC again, but I said I would think about it first,” she said in Filipino.
“But after a while, I accepted the offer. They wanted to show me how their staff will be trained in gender sensitivity. They will show me how they can provide better customer service to people like me in the rainbow community. And they want me to be there so I can give my own input on how Zara can improve its customer service,” she added.
In response to earlier reactions by haters for Marasigan to “simply follow the rules” the store had set, she said that she clarified with the company if Zara Philippines follows a different policy on gender inclusivity from its global parent company, Inditex, which has an anti-discrimination policy. The brand rep said that Zara Philippines was subjected to comply with the global brand’s policies on inclusivity and equality, and they would make sure this was reiterated across its branches nationwide.
Marasigan received an outpouring of support from fellow content creators.
“SUPER DUPER PROUD OF YOU! MABUHAY KA, MY LOVE,” Miss Trans Global 2020 Mela Habijan commented.
“I am so sorry you had to go through what you did, but you handled it with grace and are making great things happen!! Amazing job!! ❤️,” voice talent Inka Magnaye wrote.