The highly-anticipated launch of Isabel Marant for H&M has put the Swedish brand in the headlines over the last few weeks, but a new story may be keeping them there. Israeli photographer Adi Barkan has admonished the brand for featuring models that are too thin in its latest campaigns.
"No one can tell me those are healthy women. No way." Barkan said.
To the surprise of many, a spokesperson from H&M has stepped forward to agree. Karin Bringevall acknowledged the claim: "We agree that some of our models are too thin, and it's something we are going to look over," spokesperson Bringevall said in an email statement Wednesday. "This is a very important issue for us and something we are working to improve."
Barkan runs a modeling agency in Tel Aviv and was largely involved in the law passed in Israel in March 2012: to ban underweight models (with a Body Mass Index[BMI] below 18.5) from walking on runways or being featured in commercials.
The statement from H&M's Bringevall also said that the women were not photoshopped in the photos, but that they show their natural size. Above, a photo from the Fall 2013 campaign. It is not clear yet which measures H&M plans to take to assess the models it chooses to use for campaigns, and the company will not comment via telephone. It's refreshing to hear that H&M has acknowledged the importance of body image, which is largely influenced by the women put in magazines and on runways, as a company this large could truly make an impact on the fashion industry --- if it takes the right steps. To be continued. (The Local)