Apparently the NY Daily News wanted to run a photo feature showing “real” NY women, young college graduates, modeling clothing from Donatella Versace’s new line for H&M. Unlike Versace’s couture clothing, this line comes in all sizes and is somewhat affordable. Well a spokesperson for H&M told the News that Versace probably wouldn’t approve of “real” (read: larger than size 4) women wearing even her H&M line for any kind of photo shoot, even a casual one like this, and they were right. Most of the models were rejected for not fitting Versace’s “branding.” Again, this was her line for H&M and it was just a photo feature in a newspaper. Give me a break.
After the Daily News arranged for real NYC women to be photographed wearing looks from the Italian designer’s Versace for H&M line, a rep for the Swedish clothing company canceled the shoot on Friday.
Apparently, “real” doesn’t work for the 56-year-old bottle-blond designer with the bee-stung lips.
The H&M publicist initially explained by email that the “Model New Yorkers” photo feature could probably not go forward because Versace had to approve “anyone who wears the collection for press” — and, she added, “Donatella will likely not approve shooting the collection on real women.”
She was right. When the Daily News writer organizing the shoot sent the publicist photos of two of the three women he wanted to use — all recent college graduates who work in the city — the answer came back that only one was acceptable.
When the News writer asked for an explanation, he was told the woman who was rejected “doesn’t fit [Versace’s] branding.”
That might make sense if the clothes involved were from Versace’s full-priced designer collections, where a metallic brushed-leather biker jacket goes for $5,825 and a wool crepe cut-out dress fetches $2,425.
But one reason designers work with H&M is to make their designs accessible — and affordable — to a less-exclusive crowd. Previous fashion designers who’ve worked with H&M in this way include Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney.
“The H&M customer is anyone interested in fashion,” the company’s U.S. public relations manager, Jennifer Ward, told the retail-shopping website Westfield.com this fall. “There is something for every age and personality.”
Versace’s designs for H&M reflect this perspective. Although there are some pricier items — such as a $249 metallic party dress — the line includes a $29.99 pair of leggings that feature a jungle print similar to the famous plunging dress that Jennifer Lopez wore to the 2000 Grammys.
Versace previewed her limited-edition H&M line at a party and fashion show at Pier 57 on Nov. 8. Although she used the kind of stick-thin models who don’t resemble typical NYC consumers, the designer told CBSNews.com that she understood the H&M consumer.
“I know this customer,” she said. “I know what they want.”
Now if only she didn’t mind them actually wearing her clothing.
By the way, we’ve decided to stick with our real New York models. Instead of Versace for H&M, they’ll be wearing their own holiday cocktail outfits in the photo feature, which will run on Thursday.
[From The NY Daily News]
When I first read this I thought that the News might have arranged this photo shoot using clothing by Versace for H&M because they knew it would get shut down. They may have done that, but even it it was a set up they still convincingly proved their point. Why have a high fashion line put out something for H&M if they don’t want to be associated with anything but very rich, stick thin women? It’s elitist. It’s like they think it’s fine to take money from the masses, but they still don’t want to be associated with them in any way.
Here are some of the Versace for H&M pieces. They’ll probably sell out quickly and Versace knows this. She can continue to be a scary, haughty bitch because it’s not going to affect her bottom line at all. Some of these looks are hideous, right? I like the studded leather jacket, though, and that sequin dress is cute. They probably look cheap in person, though. I’m sure a photoshoot with a magazine would reveal that the clothes look crappy as well. The H&M people should have made up some excuse about making sure the clothing is photographed properly instead of insisting on choosing super thin models.
Donatella is shown with her daughter, Allegra, on 11/8/11. Allegra has battled anorexia.