Yesterday, the New York Daily News broke a story about how they’d been planning a feature in which “real women” wore the outlandish designs from Versace‘s H&M collaboration. The NYDN said that someone at the Swedish mega-retailer stymied the shoot and the explanation was something along the lines of “Donatella Versace doesn’t want you frumpy normals wearing the designs for press purposes.” In light of every news item about Donatella Versace ever, this seemed reasonable.
Now H&M has responded. They say it was a series of unfortunate miscommunications. Wires were crossed:
We are very surprised by the NY Daily news article and do not understand how they came to this conclusion. We can only explain it as a misunderstanding and a series of miscommunication. H&M is a democratic fashion brand and it is not our policy to decide models for fashion features in media. Both H&M and Versace have, over many years, cast from a wide and diverse pool, not only of models, but of celebrities and personalities reflective of all ethnicities, gender, ages and sizes.
Don’t choke too hard on your coffee at that bit about Versace casting a “wide and diverse pool [of people] of all ethnicities, gender, ages and sizes.” You may recall how it was news when they cast a fucking brunette in the campaign. Still, it does seem very much in H&M’s best interest to promote the line as accessible to all shapes and sizes.
What do you think? Actual misunderstanding or professional backtracking?