Most of the time, brands hit the right note with their target audience, but sadly some of our favourite brands get it horribly wrong at times. Earlier this year, retail giant H&M came under fire for an ad that featured a black child donning a hoodie with “coolest monkey in the jungle” etched on the front. The brand faced much criticism, drawing public accusations of racism all over social media and protests from EFF members causing a temporary shutdown of major stores in SA. The Weeknd, who had previously partnered with H&M for its 2017 Spring Icons campaign and designed an autumn 2017 collection for the brand immediately cut ties with the company.
Following a global apology, H&M’s country manager to South Africa, Pär Darj, later presented the company’s plans to address concerns which were raised by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). Some of the steps the brand has taken (as widely reported) include, 1. The appointment of managers on diversity and inclusiveness both at a global and national level; 2. Commitment to training its managers and staff on the question of transformation and racism; 3. An undertaking by H&M to submit its internal policies dealing with gender and equality to the Commission; and 4. An undertaking by H&M to provide progress reports and hold quarterly feedback meetings with the Commission to discuss the implementation of its gender and equality policies.
The Conscious Exclusive collection
Nearly seven years since its H&M Conscious collection, the Swedish brand launched its latest instalment of the brand that continues to push boundaries by using recycled and organic material. The 2018 collection pays homage to the Arts and Crafts movement in Sweden, taking inspiration from the creative home of 20th-century Swedish artists Karin and Carl Larsson. Released once a year, the aim of the Conscious Exclusive collection, explained Anna Gedda, the company’s queen of green, is twofold: “Making fashion sustainable, but [also] to make sustainability fashionable.” The H&M Conscious Exclusive collection launches April 19th in select stores worldwide and online at hm.com.
H&M brought back their famous designer collaborations with the announcement of #HMOSCHINO. The stylish brand announced that Moschino will follow in the footsteps of the successful 2017 Erdem collaboration, with a collection that includes womenswear, menswear and accessories. According to Vogue, we can expect a “radically innovative TV concept enmeshing social and traditional media to create a multi-platform takeover – a captivating new “zapping” experience for the digital world”. “I want to reach an even more international audience at a reasonable price,” said Moschino creative director, Jeremy Scott. “With H&M, Moschino can be all over the world. It’s a thrill for me. And not only for me, but also for fans of the brand…. What I can promise is that, of course, there will be fun and colour and cartoons. Of course, we have to have cartoons! Like all my collections, it’s humour meets haute couture meets the street. The Moschino x H&M collection will be available online and in-store from November 8th.
Exciting times, HELLO!