H&M has been earning hundreds of thousands of kudos on social media sites like Tumblr for a photo of a full-figured mannequin in purple lingerie, supposedly hailing from H&M in Sweden. The only problem is that H&M has never used the mannequin, in Sweden or in any of the other 43 countries it operates in.
There are over 130,000 notes on Tumblr regarding photos of a voluptuous mannequin in a purple bra and panty set, questionably accessorized with purple socks, side by side with a quintet of chic models in business attire from “Macys, USA” who have a more Audrey Hepburn waif-like look. The comparison prompted bloggers to praise H&M’s forward-thinking, and beg for a North American invasion.
A photo of the curvier mannequin on Facebook group Women’s Rights News received over 52,000 likes and 2,700 comments. Debbie Lowe’s comment was typical: “These mannequins are amazing and show what a real woman really looks like.”
Although the response has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, H&M told The Loop that they can’t take credit for the mannequin’s innovative look. The photos are not taken at an H&M store, in Sweden or otherwise, H&M Canada publicist Emily Scarlett says.
Judging by the response, the visual of a fuller figured mannequin struck a nerve. It is a trend that has played out in the U.K., where Displaysense, a mannequin wholesaler, reported a surge in sales of mannequins above size 12 last month.
Perhaps some savvy Canadian retailers will take a cue from the online love-in for the filled-out mannequin and bring the look here next. Afterall, if H&M Sweden can be hailed as global heroes in the fight for realistic representation of women without even doing anything, imagine how much glowing publicity a Canadian store could get for actually using a plus-sized mannequin.