H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson has addressed the issue of the too skinny model in an interview with Metro News Philadelphia that surfaced earlier in the week, admitting to making a mistake in its advertising, selecting ultra thin models to promote the clothing chain’s fashion.
This is a major marketing move for H&M, especially following the controversy after Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO, Mike Jeffries, spewed garbage acknowledging the company only markets its fashion to the thin, cool kids.
Persson met with Metro News at the H&M headquarters in Stockholm to discuss sweatshops in third world countries, creating affordable fashion, sustainability and the current debate over using skinny models to sell clothes to kids, especially teenage girls. The H&M CEO had much to say, with a real focus on catering to the needs of the store’s consumer, specifically the diverse set of women who shop at H&M.
We have a huge responsibility here I don’t think we’ve always been good. Some of the models we’ve had have been too skinny. We want to show diversity in our advertising and not give people the impression that girls have to look a particular way. By and large, I think we’ve succeeded: we’ve many different kinds of models from different ethnic backgrounds. In our last campaign we had a somewhat more buxom model, and now we’re having Beyoncé, who’s a bit curvier as well.
Persson went on to acknowledge that H&M would continue to use thin models, as long as they are healthy looking, addressing the concern body image has with the youth that shop at H&M.
I believe that the models in our advertising should look sound and healthy. There are models who’re too thin or obviously underweight, but there are also those who’re just thin, and they’re the ones we should keep working with, as long as they look sound and healthy.
Karl-Johan Persson hopes that H&M’s decision to use healthier looking models rather than the too skinny type will steer the fashion industry in the right direction, however as it is such a large business it is hard to tell what the future holds.
H&M can be found on Long Island in Garden City, Hicksville, Massapequa, Valley Stream and Westbury.
Source: Metro News Philadelphia
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