Oh Hollister, you’re always raising the jerk bar for other retailers. Who could ever match the way your SoHo store refused to close despite bedbugs, threatening the safety of your customers and employees? Or how about making your ads look like they may not even feature real human beings? Also, I’m a bit salty at you for not carrying my size once I hit 125 lbs. (or apparently most other people’s) in the ninth grade. Fortunately, you’ve found a way to top even yourself by sending racist models to the opening of your South Korea store!
Okay, I’m done directing this article at Hollister; their PR department doesn’t seem to acknowledge criticism anyway.
In Yeouido, South Korea, the first Hollister store there opened last week in an event spanning the weekend of August 30 and September 2. Models dressed as lifeguards were flown in to take photos with customers and add to the average “Hollister look” of their stores here in the United States. What should have been a fun, joyful occasion for both shoppers and employees turned sour when the models began acting extremely offensively towards customers.
Writer Lee Hyung-Ju says, “Images of models making “squinty eyes” faces, flipping their middle finger to photographers, and mocking Asian pronunciation of English appeared on their Twitter accounts. Major Korean newspapers covered the scandal, as online comments called for a boycott and promised to return clothing they had bought.”
More than one model posted himself squinting and opening his mouth largely, implying that this is how they saw Koreans. When a twitter comment on one of them noted “how many Asians liked that photo,” the model responded with, “Hahahaha they ruhhvvvv itttt!”
Many Koreans are angered by these photos and have voiced desires to return any clothing purchased from Hollister, as well as a call to others to boycott the store.
These models were lucky enough to be literally flown out simply to assist in celebrating a store opening in another country, then proceeded to mock, criticize and demean the people in that country. Perhaps we’ll here more in the near future regarding some form of repercussions these models have faced, whether it’s from their agencies or Hollister itself.
Lovelies, what do you think about this scandal? Do you think the models should be punished or are people overreacting?
[via Huffington Post]