H&M has been in the news quite a bit lately!
First, they made waves with their blockbuster Balmain x H&M collection, and now their South African enclave is under fire for insinuating that white models convey a more positive image.
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H&M South African customers called the store out for not using black models in their advertisements, and went to Twitter to voice their concerns.
00 h&m south african racist tweets black models negative positive image fashion bomb daily
H&M responded, “H&M’s marketing has a major impact and it is essential for us to convey a positive image. We want our marketing to show our fashion in an inspiring way, to convey a positive feeling. ” Read the rest here:
h&m south african racist tweets black models negative positive image fashion bomb daily
The suggestion? That black models don’t, in fact convey a positive, inspiring image. Really?
2 Danai Gurira for DuJour Magazine
Of course H&M quickly backtracked, saying, “H&M regrets the response to a social media message that was recently aired on Twitter and wish to clarify the intention of this message. In no way does H&M state that positivity is linked to an ethnic group. H&M is proudly a global brand that embraces all people who are inspired by fashion, regardless of ethnic background, gender or culture.”
0 0 H&M South Africa Implies White Models Convey a More Positive Image; Issues an Apology Shortly Thereafter
Though H&M apologized, it does offer some insight into how some companies feel about black models, and provide an explanation as to why there is an endemic diversity issue in the fashion industry. Apparently they don’t think we’re inspiring, despite innumerable instances proving otherwise.
Zendaya for Galore Magazine
From the overwhelming response to the Balmain collaboration, designed by bi-racial designer Olivier Rousteing, H&M should know that reflecting the diversity in the world is in fact very positive and great for business.
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Sigh, we already know this, but when will the rest of the world catch on? Let’s hope it’s in this lifetime.
What do you think?


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