H&M South Africa Has No Black Models For Their Store Images In South Africa
H&M’s newly added, Balmain collection is the talk of the fashion town and noted as every fashionista’s ‘must haves’ clothing. The Swedish empire recently launched it flagship store in Johannesburg, South Africa with a great turnout from the natives, they recently came under fire for their racial remarks.
When a consumer suggested that the company diversify its models in stores to appeal to their black consumers, they implied that their white models offer a more positive image for their brand…. The Nerve!
@hmsouthafrica I was at your CT store. Most, if not all your posters in store have no black models.Please work on that to appeal to everyone.
— Tlalane Letlhaku (@Tlaly_Branch) November 2, 2015
And then H&M responded the following:
Twitter unleashed their fury and H&M issued a quick apology:
Back in my college days /retail work days, I worked for H&M for close to two years, and what was always strikingly noticeable were the number of colored employees that worked in every department from the sales floor, to the visual department, HR, and the management team, but somehow that diversity never spilled over onto the marketing campaign of the brand -[ie: the ad campaigns/model], despite their rapid growth of more than twenty U.S store openings, their affordable priced clothing, and urban vintage appeal that attracted black consumers in that short span period.
I was very young and naive back then as were many of my peers and assume it as a typical ‘corporate’ norm like similar federated stores [ie: Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth, Nordstrom, etc].
I often thought – here’s a new company from overseas breaking in to the U.S market, offering training in Sweden, Europe, with a great starter pay rate [$14 per hour ], and I can pay my college tuition school, so no complaints here. In hindsight, I see how the more some things change, the more some things remained the same.
This Actually Took Place In South Africa Where The Majority Of People Are Black
This is not a first occurrence of a major company to do such a thing and its of no big shocker to me but it’s certainly unacceptable for H&M South Africa to comfortably suggest that people of color [roughly more than 40% of their consumer population] only interest of value to them lies solely at the ‘cash register’.
It seems, H&M South Africa apology was nothing short of cover-up of their personal truth.
— Bona Magazine (@BonaMag) November 5, 2015
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