(update) Pop star Justin Bieber asked his fans to boycott the new H&M collection featuring his image. It is yet another slap in the face for the fashion group, which immediately gave in to the youth idol.
The Canadian lashed out at the H&M merchandise on his Instagram channel. The Swedish group’s latest collection features pictures of the pop star and snippets of song lyrics on T-shirts, jumpers and hoodies. However, Bieber vigorously denies to have endorsed the collection.
Worse: he calls the garments “trash” and urges his followers not to buy them. H&M group, however, claims that all the usual procedures have been followed and that the licensed products do have approval.
Yet the fashion giant almost immediately caved: “Out of respect for the collaboration and Justin Bieber, we have removed the items,” the retail chain announced the very next day.
It is as of yet unclear what provoked the furious reaction. After all, H&M has already produced collections with references to Bieber in the past. Some analysts think that the increasing criticism of the fast-fashion industry for their unsustainable practices is taking its toll. Similarly, The Rolling Stones recently demanded a merchandising collection at Shein to be taken off the shelves after controversy surrounding working conditions in factories. More and more artists and influencers are therefore feeling the pressure to speak out. Or possibly, Bieber just did not like the products?
For H&M, at any rate, it is another huge blow. The group’s share price has been in free fall for quite some time, CEO Helena Helmersson announced 1,500 job cuts at the end of November and the Swedish fashion giant also fails to keep up with rival Inditex in terms of sales growth.