They said/We said: Donatella rejects a shoot of real women wearing Versace for H&M. But who is the collection for?

Photography courtesy of H&M
Photography courtesy of H&M

After a star studded-launch party and months of waiting, the Versace for H&M collection will finally be available to the fashion-hungry masses this weekend. We’ve seen the collection on campaign star Abbey Lee Kershaw and celebs like Blake Lively and Jessica Alba, but to see the clothes in print and on real women, the fast-fashion retailer’s target buyers, would have been refreshing.

New York Daily News planned to do a feature on real New Yorkers wearing pieces from the collection but it’s reported that the shoot was cancelled at the last minute. An H&M publicist explained to the Daily News that Donatella has to approve anyone who wears the collection for press and that she probably won’t approve of real women wearing the clothes. Apparently, the publicist was right. When the writer sent the publicist pictures of the three women to be approved, only one was deemed acceptable while the other two “didn’t fit Versace’s branding.”

The “normal” women were being considered for a feature on real people, not for a high-fashion editorial—H&M designer collaborations are meant to bring high-fashion to the masses. Lets thank god Donatella doesn’t approve our Facebook photos…


NY Daily News: “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.” [NY Daily News]

Fashionista: “That’s why H&M collaborates with designers—to give ‘real girls’ the chance to wear Versace and Lanvin. Were Versace and H&M just doing their jobs or is there cause for outrage here?” [Fashionista]

Huffington Post: “We would have welcomed the chance to see the collection modeled this way. We’d understand if the shoot were for Vogue, perhaps, or Harper’s Bazaar. But the Daily News, given its wide readership and lack of glamorous pretensions, had probably planned a low-key shoot. Did they really need a Natalia Vodianova or a Gisele?” [Huffington Post]


Caitlin Agnew, assistant editor: “Donatella’s obviously got a very specific look in mind and fortunately we can’t all be rail thin, orange-hued, and platinum-coiffed. A brash decision perhaps, but at the end of the day it’s hers to make. To quote the designer herself, ‘My house, my rules, my pleasure.‘”

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