H&M has stirred the pot with a few controversies before this, but none could hold a candle to the magnitude of this current one. Twitter users fumed in anger as they found out that H&M published a photo of an African American kid wearing a hoodie that spells out “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle.” Some have dug even deeper and claimed that the brand has used a white child for a sweater that says, “Survival Expert.”

The controversy can all be traced back to the implied meaning of the word ‘monkey,’ used often in a racially prejudiced manner to discern black people from the whites back during the days of slavery. It’s little wonder then why the publication of such a photo sparked a wildfire of criticism amongst Twitter users.

As the photos circulated, big name celebrities have taken notice and are weighing in their opinions. Abel Tesfaye a.k.a The Weeknd was one of the first to speak out, saying he was deeply offended proceeded to immediately cut ties with the brand after collaborating on a fashion line together. G-Eazy did the same as well shortly after that.

Diddy, LeBron James, even Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United took to Instagram to voice out their opinions on this, editing the picture with a crown and substituting the word monkey with king.

Lazada Malaysia

H&M has since issued an apology statement on all social media platforms, and spokesperson Anna Eriksson went on to say, “This image has now been removed from all H&M channels and we apologize to anyone this may have offended.”

The Swedish brand then came out with a longer statement of the apology, after even more severe backlash on how the apology was structured and deemed to be insincere and frank;y, hollow. The second statement reads:

Lazada Indonesia

To all customers, staff, media, stakeholders, partners, suppliers, friends and critics.

We would like to put on record our position in relation to the image and promotion of a children’s sweater, and the ensuing response and criticism.

Our position is simple and unequivocal—we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry.

H&M is fully committed to playing its part in addressing society’s issues and problems, whether it’s diversity, working conditions or environmental protection—and many others. Our standards are high and we feel that we have made real progress over the years in playing our part in promoting diversity and inclusion. But we clearly haven’t come far enough.

We agree with all the criticism that this has generated—we have got this wrong and we agree that, even if unintentional, passive or casual racism needs to be eradicated wherever it exists. We appreciate the support of those who have seen that our product and promotion were not intended to cause offence but, as a global brand, we have a responsibility to be aware of and attuned to all racial and cultural sensitivities—and we have not lived up to this responsibility this time.

This incident is accidental in nature, but this doesn’t mean we don’t take it extremely seriously or understand the upset and discomfort it has caused.

We have taken down the image and we have removed the garment in question from sale. It will be recycled.

We will now be doing everything we possibly can to prevent this from happening again in future.

Racism and bias in any shape or form, conscious or unconscious, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable and need to be eradicated from society. In this instance we have not been sensitive enough to this agenda.

Please accept our humble apologies.


However, in an odd turn of events, the mother of the child model, has spoken out on the issue. Terry Mango claims that she knew what was happening, and has since criticised the controversy for crying wolf.

One of her comments in the screenshot read:

“Am the mum and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modelled,” Mango wrote, according to screenshots of the messages. “Stop crying wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here… get over it.”

It’s quite apparent this was clearly an unintentional mistake, as given on how the mother of the model was fully aware of what’s happening, it probably would not have been a racial issue as the statement was a very innocent one. However, given the size of H&M, the company should’ve known better and researched on proper historical backgrounds relating to certain terminologies to avoid such mistakes.

What do you think? Was it An Honest Mistake? Or a ridiculous oversight and obliviousness where there shouldn’t be in 2018?

UPDATE (15/01/18): A resistance group in Africa who called themselves Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have taken it upon themselves to vandalise H&M stores in South Africa, prompting H&M’s upper management to close down 17 shops all across South Africa.

PMC drops the 1MDB Yacht Club Collection

by Maruxa Lynd You don’t have to be as rich as Jho Low to afford a yacht! Well, at least you can get a shirt with a yacht on it! PMC’s new collection features one of Jho Low’s prized possessions, his super yacht called the Equanimity. Ever since he has...

NERDUNIT ‘s “Mindf*cked Generation” debuts in KLFW RTW

by Maruxa Lynd USA founded streetwear brand Nerdunit by Ronald Chew debuted its latest collection at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week RTW 2018 last Friday,12th August in Pavilion KL. Boldly named “Mindf*cked Generation”, the latest ready–to–wear collection aims...

Arsenal’s 3rd Kit is a beauty

by Shazwan Zulkiffli Football jerseys are the uniforms of battle for football clubs and over the years, major sports brands have been competing to show dominance in football leagues by partnering with footy giants. The demand of the third kit, a third...

Tiger Beer raises awareness through fashion brand Kenzo

by Maruxa Lynd Hundreds of years ago there were 100,000 tigers in the wild, but due to prolonged poaching by wildlife traffickers and other human negligence, the tiger population in the wild has decreased to about 3890. Last year, Tiger Beer used an AI...

NERDUNIT’S Grand launch promises big things for the brand

by Maruxa Lynd   Streetwear brand Nerdunit’s Experience Store had its Grand Launch in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur as it they celebrate the opening of their second concept store . An American born brand that was founded by Malaysian Ronald Chew had previously...

PUMA‘s RS-0 Collection is out and it’s in JD’s online store!

by Maruxa Lynd   Retro vibes have been the in- thing for quite some time now so it’s really a good news that PUMA has just released their extended Puma RS-0 collection that includes a next-level retro styled apparel for men with a futuristic aesthetic....

PUMAxSCUDERIAFERRARI are icons in Speed and Style #ForAllTime

by Maruxa Lynd   Performance , passion  and attention to detail . These are the PUMA for Scuderia Ferrari collection‘s winning recipe that made their groundbreaking fashion and sport style something to get excited with . For the 50th anniversary of the...

Review: Sloggi Zero Feel, Your Supportive Breast Friend

By Angel Tong The new Sloggi ZERO Feel is the most supportive breast friend you can ask for. This bra is sure to fully support you on those days where you just want to stay comfortably depressed in your sweatpants and a tub of ice cream. The ZERO Feel is a game...