Journalist, blogger and rape victim Natalie Karneef has written an open letter to the clothing retailer accusing their new range of clothes of putting a ‘chic consumerist finish’ on sexual violence.
The clothing line, featuring a collection of darkly-coloured hoodies, leather jackets, skinny jeans and thick black boots inspired by Dragon Tattoo’s heroine Lisbeth Salander, was designed by Trish Summerville, who was also costume designer on the Hollywood movie.
Salander’s style is attributed to her steely, outsider demeanour brought on by her being raped as a teenager and witnessing her father’s brutal violence towards her mother.
Writing in the Montreal Gazette, Karneef says: “What message is H&M sending to the world? Look at the trendy rape survivor? Look how strong she is, that she can get through all that hell and still wear cool leather jackets?”
H&M has defended the line saying that it is about a strong, independent woman, and have released a statement saying: “Our goal is to offer a collection that we see in today’s trend picture that will appeal to many customers.
“We do not view this collection as provocative – it contains pieces that are staples in many people’s wardrobes: jeans, biker jackets and T-shirts. It’s all about how you wear them.”