The H&M boutique on High Street in London is being slammed for using a model so thin and gaunt that she's being called "corpse-like."
The Marni model, 26-year-old Aymeline Valade, has pale skin, hollow cheeks, dark eyes and is known for her prodigious pout. Valade, also a classically trained dancer, appears in the Marni for H&M ads in the U.S., although there hasn’t been any furor about her weight over here.
The young French model -- who calls Aix-En-Provence, Nice and Paris home -- debuted on the Blumarine show in Milan in 2009. Her big break was walking for Nicolas Ghesquiere's Balenciaga Spring 2011 show in Paris. You can see her in more Marni for H&M ads here.
She was tagged by designer Alexander Wang for his first "image campaign" and his first runway show in 2011. She's also walked for Gucci, Chanel, Balenciaga, and scored the opening slot at Louis Vuitton show. Valade has also shot with the likes of photogs Steven Meisel and Greg Kadel for W magazine, international Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.
But let's get down to the weight issue. According to her modeling agency, her measurements are: Height 5'10", bust 33, waist 24, hips 35, size 9 shoe.
H&M has released a statement answering the charges:
”We appreciate feedback from our customers on how we conduct our business. We think it is regrettable that some of our customers interpret our Marni at H&M PR images as unethical, and feel that the model is underweight. H&M has an advertising policy in which we strongly distance ourselves from alcohol and drug abuse, and we do not work with models who are significantly underweight," the statement reads.
"The models are always chosen in consultation with representatives from H&M and established modeling agencies who are made aware of, and agree to, H&M’s advertising policy. For this particular Marni at H&M look book shoot, we felt that Aymeline Valade would portray the collection in an inspiring way," it continues. "We are aware that many of the models used in images today are petite or thin, and that this is something that is occurring in the industry we operate in. We are committed to not using models who could be considered significantly underweight, and we are looking into how we can take additional steps within our industry."
So the big question is: Do you think she's too skinny to model Marni for H&M? Does her weight send an unhealthy message to young women? But before you answer, watch this video of her working in Milan.