This November Top Designer Donatella Versace joins forces with fashion retailer H&M, debuting a “joyful” winter 2012 collection. The marketing for this new line has been stellar; premiering with a fashion show on November 8th which included famous guests such as Blake Lively, Uma Thurman, Jessica Alba, Niki Minaj, and Prince.
A viral video showcasing The Very Best of Versace For H&M has also hit the web, along with a look book video as well.
But with great fashion comes great controversy. H&M is a brand that showcases high fashion for a low price, with “real people” as models for its clothing lines. However, according to a recent New York Daily News article, Donatella showed great disapproval in a “Model New Yorkers” ad campaign that show-cased everyday new yorkers as models. Donatella only approved one model out of the entire campaign, causing great confusion as to why she would want to pull together with H&M in the first place if she wasn’t ready for her designs to be on “average people.”
Although Donatella stated that she understood the H&M consumer to CBSnews.com, it now seems to the public that she feels that her designs are too good for the average new yorker looking for a cheaper fashion fix. With H&M designs reaching prices as high as $249 though, maybe, her audience is not the “average” H&M wearer after all.
So the real question now is how are the public relatoins departments for both H&M and Versace going to handle this fashion fiasco? Well, it has been over a week now since the decision to pull the new york models was made, and nothing hot has hit the press. The only comments have been from H&M, that states,
“We are very surprised by the New York 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 [sic]. 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.”
Yet how can a deliberate pull of all “average” new york models simply be a misunderstanding? And why has Versace and Donatella not taken responsibility and further explained this said misunderstanding? It seems to me that certain public relations reps are not doing their jobs, or maybe, they feel it is just unecessary to apologize to average new yorkers.