When will they learn? It seems that some within the fashion industry are determined to continue promoting their clothing by showcasing it on seriously unwell looking models in the belief that this appeals to the consumer…
When will they learn? It seems that some within the fashion industry are determined to continue promoting their clothing by showcasing it on seriously unwell looking models in the belief that this appeals to the consumer. Booking agents at Talent Management are at a loss as to understand why.
The latest company to upset and offend consumers with their misguided choice of model is High Street store H&M. They opted to use super-skinny 26-year-old French model Aymeline Valade in PR material for their recent Marni campaign and in doing so they have alienated many of the consumers that they were hoping to target. You can view the image that’s causing this latest controversy on the Daily Mail website.
Valade has been described as ‘corpse-like’ by Dr Julian Spinks, who told the Daily Mail: “This model looks very unwell. Her skin is grey, you can see prominent veins in her hands and she has huge eye bags. I find it incredible that a fashion store like H&M, which appeals to young people, is using an image which encourages them to be unhealthy.”
H&M responded: “’We appreciate feedback from our customers on how we conduct our business. We think it is regrettable that some of our customers interpret our Marni at H&M PR images as unethical, and feel that the model is underweight.
“H&M has an advertising policy in which we strongly distance ourselves from alcohol and drug abuse, and we do not work with models who are significantly underweight.
“The models are always chosen in consultation with representatives from H&M and established modelling agencies who are made aware of, and agree to, H&M’s advertising policy. For this particular Marni at H&M look book shoot we felt that Aymeline Valade would portray the collection in an inspiring way.
“We are aware that many of the models used in images today are petite or thin, and that this is something that is occurring in the industry we operate in. We are committed to not using models who could be considered significantly underweight, and we are looking into how we can take additional steps within our industry.”
Talent Management may have been able to take their statement more seriously if this latest blunder hadn’t come just months after H&M received complaints about another skinny model that they booked for a television advertisement. The ASA reported comments from viewers back in November that described the advertisement as ‘offensive and harmful’ and the model as ‘unhealthily thin’. But the company responded at that time in the same way – by insisting that their policy included “not working with models that are significantly underweight”.
Maybe their policy should also include not working with model booking agents that are significantly short-sighted?