H&M Just Pissed Off South Africa By Claiming Black Models Give A Negative Image
International retail giant H&M set up shop in South Africa recently, with one store opened in Cape Town last month and one in Johannesburg just 3 days ago. But it’s already pissing off the natives and future customers thanks to a case of Twitter Fingers.
It all started when fashion blogger Tlalane Letlhaku commented on Twitter saying that “most, if not all your posters in store have no black models” and to “please work on that to appeal to everyone,” the response was “H&M’s marketing has a major impact and it is essential for us to convey a positive image”.
@Tlaly_Branch H&M’s marketing has a major impact and it is essential for us to convey a positive image. 1/4
— hmsouthafrica (@hmsouthafrica) November 2, 2015
That’s when it started
@hmsouthafrica Sooo…. White models convey a positive image & black models dont? Wow
— Abelungu banamanga (@Khuze_Elikhulu) November 5, 2015
H&M eventually got it’s head together. This time saying that it is “a global brand working across all continents within the Northern and Southern Hemisphere,” that “fashion is global and so are our marketing campaigns” and that it has “worked with many models from various ethnic backgrounds in our campaigns” before listing models of various ethnicity who it has worked with.
You know the whole “but some of my best friends are black”. It’s no secret that the fashion industry has diversity issues– particularly those operating in Africa. The bottom line is this: When someone says that perhaps, when doing business in Africa, one should consider using more black models, the appropriate response is “Yes, you’re right.” H&M has also issued another clarification of its tweets, apologizing as well for any offence caused.