H&M in racist debacle over 'positive image' tweet for lack of black models

06 November 2015 - 13:35 By Bernice Maune
H&M launches its first South African store at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town
H&M launches its first South African store at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town
Image: H&M/FACEBOOK

Retail giant, H&M, which is set to open its doors to the public on Saturday in Sandton and Cape Town, has had to deal with a public relations disaster after its response to why they have a lack of black models was considered controversial.

Tlalane Lethlaku, a Cape Town resident, tweeted that she noticed how H&M had no black models on their posters at their Waterfront store.

"Please work on that to appeal to everyone," Lethlaku added.

The response to Lethlaku opened a can of worms as H&M responded that their marketing plan was one which intended to convey a positive image - implying black models were not in line with this image.

The fashion conglomerate continued to add heat to an already tense interaction with Lethlaku, by tweeting they wanted their fashion to inspire and convey "a positive feeling".

 

After experiencing backlash for the slew of tweets, H&M attempted to do damage control by stating: "(campaign) includes all ethnic groups. What is important is that our campaigns celebrate the fun& diversity of global fashion."

They added:

 

 

 

Response to H&M's tweets was mainly negative with @Gabzee_M tweeting: what exactly do you mean by 'positive image'? Do black people not convey a 'positive image'?  This promoted the international fashion brand to issue a statement.

But despite apologising and issuing a retraction of their tweets, the retail giant continued to take flak.

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