Did Zara Sell a Dress with a Rat in the Hem?

November 2016

A New Yorker claims she was sold a dress with a rodent sewn in

On July 5th, Cailey Fiesel bought two dresses from a Zara store in Greenwich, Connecticut. On August 16, she wore one dress and discovered a dead rodent in the hem.

Zara sued over unexpected gift with purchase: a dress with rodent hem

Last Friday, Fiesel filed a fashion law claim against the retail giant.

Do you think a quality control failure happened?

The lawsuit was filed in New York County because Fiesel is a resident of Manhattan. The allegations against Zara are negligence and personal injuries.


According to the court document filed, Fiesel bought the dress and hung it in her closet. A few weeks later she took off the tags and wore it to work.

While wearing the dress she noticed a pungent odor but could not identify the source.

As the day went on she noticed something rubbing up on her leg. She figured it was a loose string from her dress. So she tried removing it but realized there was a bulge in the hem.

Upon further inspection she discovered it was the corpse of a rodent in her hem.

Fiesel says she developed a rodent born rash after wearing the dress.

Zara LBD dress with rodent in hem

When I first learned of the allegation and saw the photos I thought this customer was probably wronged. I wanted to have a reason to talk crap about the wrongdoings of a fast fashion retailer. But it is totally possible that the rodent never was in a Zara store.

Zara’s hem may have been so loose that a Manhattan mouse from the customer’s apartment made its way into the seam and got caught. That would explain why the corpse discovered weeks after the store purchase may still stink but apparently did not smell enough to be discovered by the plaintiff on the date of purchase.

Someone should start a petition or crowd-funding page to seek an autopsy of the rodent found in the Zara dress.


I want to know when and why the mouse died.

The time it takes for the Zara dress to be manufactured in some sweatshop where a live mouse may mistakenly be sewn into a seam and then make its way to a hanger on a shop in Connecticut is not a two day ordeal.

That rodent should have already smelled.

But let’s say that mouse was freshly dead and thus not yet smelly. The mouse trap dress then allegedly traveled to New York and was hung in a closet… without becoming smelly enough to be discovered.

From July 5th to August 16 the dress with a rotting rodent was in the possession of the customer without the smell alerting her of a problem.

I cannot fathom how Fiesel could wear the dress to work and just figure there was a “disturbing pungent odor” that she just could not pinpoint or escape from at her job.

I was born and raised in NYC. From my experience, a decomposing rat does not take longer than a few days to smell whether it is in a wall, on the street, or on a subway track.

The warm NYC summer weather should have only promoted decomposition of the rodent.

Still, I imagine Zara may settle out of court to prevent further inquiry on the practices.




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  • Reply Duckie November 2016 at 5:31 pm

    That story is very suspicious. I agree with you, the dead rat would have been decomposed by the time she wore it. I think they’d have to check her house and closet for signs of rodents and check all the seams of the dress in case the rat had gotten into it after she had hung the dress in her closet for several weeks. I’d like to see that rodent’s autopsy as well, to see if it had been punctured by the needles when it was supposedly sewn in.

    • Reply Fashion Blawger November 2016 at 6:37 am

      I’m so glad to hear you cosign my autopsy rant. 😉 I agree about checking the rodent for puncture wounds, though arguably it may have escaped puncture when sewn in. Still, aside from cause of death, the time of death could be very telling.

      The photos of it were submitted and if we are lucky this case will go to trial and the rodent will be submitted as evidence. 🙂

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