H&M CEO: Some Of Our Models Were 'Too Skinny'

On the heels of Beyoncé becoming the current face of H&M, the CEO has vowed to show more diversity and healthier looking models in their ads.

“We have a huge responsibility here,” said H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson in an interview with The Metro. “We’re a large company, many people see us, and we advertise a lot. We want to show diversity in our advertising and not give people the impression that girls have to look a particular way. By and large, I think we’ve succeeded: we’ve many different kinds of models from different ethnic backgrounds. In our last campaign we had a somewhat more buxom model, and now we’re using Beyoncé, who’s a bit curvier as well. I believe that the models in our advertising should look sound and healthy. There are models who are too thin or obviously underweight, but there are also those who’re just thin, and they’re the ones we should keep working with, as long as they look sound and healthy.”

As of last month, H&M showcased its beachwear collection featuring Jennie Runk, who Persson refers to as “buxom and curvier”.

Jennie Ruck_604_0

Persson admitted to making mistakes in the past, but is making an effort to not make them again. “I don’t think we’ve always been good,” he told The Metro.“Some of the models we’ve had have been too skinny. That’s something we think a lot about and are working on.  We’re not blind to the issue. But I have to be honest and say that some of our models have been too skinny. That’s not OK.”

Although an H&M spokesperson did not address Persson’s comments, she did address media reports that Beyonce was not pleased with the retouching that was done to her photos. Apparently Beyoncé was not pleased about having her curves photoshopped into a slimmer version.

“Our purpose has always been to portray Beyoncé as the strong and beautiful woman she is,” the spokeswoman said. “It has been a good working process and a close cooperation. Both parties are happy with the pictures.”

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  • So, does that mean H&M’s sizes are going to go up? Curvy girls can’t wear most of their clothes.

    • they now have a plus size collection but i haven’t seen any selections in stores.

    • [email protected]

      in some stores they have a plus size collection, i know the store here in raleigh,nc has it.

    • Allie

      Preach! I can’t find no pants in that store. NOT ONE PAIR!

    • I’m a size 8 normally; recently I tried to get a pair of size 12 jeans from H&M (I knew they aren’t cut for hips and booty) and failed miserably. I know they cut their clothes really small so if I expect to fit into any bottoms, I’d probably be out of luck.

    • Velociraptor

      I’m an 8 as well and I’ve learned that when it comes to jeans and dress pants, you have to spend extra. I bought a pair of jeans from the GAP and they fit like a glove. And their sizes are true sizes. Also, find a Banana Republic outlet store, their dress pants are absolutely amazing.

    • E.M.S.

      It’s a struggle even if you’re not plus. H&M has European sizes and many of their clothes seem to run small. I would love to support their efforts by shopping in there but I can’t until more of their fashions accommodate us shapely ladies!

    • AdorkABLE

      They have them here in England. I think they’re trying to expand it into more stores, can’t remember if I saw them in Missouri or Illinois but it’ll probably be a matter of time. Have you checked their website?

  • L

    *clap* *clap* *clap* to H&M. I see these marketing teams are finally realizing “Hey we need to have ads that reflect what society really looks like”. *bravo*

  • E.M.S.

    When H&M first came on the scene I thought they were another “skinny girls only” store but I am really glad they’re taking this direction & being so public about their new changes. They’re now the type of store I am happy to give my business to because I know they genuinely want girls of all shapes & sizes to feel welcome. Suck on that Abercrombie!

  • RenJennM

    That’s nice. But I’m tiny and short (think Jada Pinkett-Smith or Christina Aguilera back in the day). Whenever I go to H&M, there are always a plethora of sizes 6-18. I can rarely find pants or skirts that fit me, so I usually end up just getting shirts from there.

    If plus sizes are going to be celebrated, I think short and petite sizes should be too. We have just as much difficulty finding fitting clothes as you all do. Instead of tall, skinny models, maybe H&M could use short, skinny models AND tall, curvy models. I think that’ll even the spectrum.

    • cabugs

      Yes though! Can anyone come out and crusade for the petites though? I am 4’10”, 90 pounds and almost 20 years old (in 2 months) and it is a struggle finding clothes. I know that I am exception as I am well below 5’0″ to – 5’3″ (what is normally considered petite). However, I think that if designers made more affordable clothing catering for slightly shorter people I would find clothes that fit me slightly better even if not perfectly. What makes me really angry are stores that have petite sections and use regular-height models (not petite) to model the clothes (*ahem* asos). It’s really unfair and there would obviously be a lot of backlash if they used regular models for plus-sized clothing. Really ridiculous. I have been tossing around the idea in my mind of creating my own affordable petite clothing line. I think I should. Represent for the shorties.

  • BeBoogie

    actually tall women have problems finding clothes- most stores have a petite section but not a tall section-ask a tall women sometime about the challenges of finding clithes