Despite more recent efforts to diversity their creative portfolio, like their iconic “Close the Loop” commercial which featured a diverse cast of models, H&M still has a very spotty history when it comes to socially conscious clothing—remember when they sold headdresses a few years ago as part of their “festival wear”—or advertisements for that matter.
After images from their online website surfaced featuring a young black model wearing a sweatshirt that read “The coolest monkey in the jungle,” the response was widespread and immediate.
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) January 8, 2018
The Swedish clothing brand responded to the backlash. Here’s what they told the Daily Mail:
“This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologise to anyone this may have offended.”
The Weekend, who released his own line with H&M in the Spring of 201, tweeted out his comments about the misstep and announce that he’ll no longer be working with the fast-fashion retailer.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
Other artists took to Instagram to discuss the larger systemic issues at hand and call for a need to hold retailers fully accountable for their creative decisions.
I’m sure the apologies are a coming. And the ads will be pulled. I’m certain there will Be media fixers and whatnot and maybe a grand gesture like a donation to some charity (donations under these circumstances are the corporate version #SomeOfMyBestFriendsAre move if there ever was one) all this tells me about @HM is that the seats in the boardroom lack something…wanna take a guess?
Here’s to hoping 2018 won’t be the year of broken records. H&M. Do better.