- Words Isabelle Cassidy
Supermodel of the world Naomi Campbell surprised many with the announcement her latest collaborative collection this week, with fast-fashion brand PrettyLittleThing.
Naomi, we love you, but you’re bringing us down. If you missed the announcement of a collaboration between the legendary supermodel and controversial fast fashion heavyweight PrettyLittleThing last week, we won’t blame you. Announced by an Instagram post strangely late last Friday evening, the Boohoo Group-owned brand revealed their latest co-designer, none other than Naomi Campbell herself. In a short statement, said its new exclusive collaborative collection would “intertwine the essence of PLT with Naomi’s unique style, promising a fashion experience like no other”.
If the Instagram reaction alone is anything to go by, the collaboration has certainly had a mixed response. Whilst some commenters are celebrating the affordability – “I don’t care what all these rats are saying! I’m buying! Sorry we all can’t afford huge designer brands…” – others can’t help but call out their disappointment at Naomi endorsing a brand surrounded by so much alleged misconduct.
Just why are people so mad? Most of us don’t need the negatives of fast fashion explained, but as clothes manufacturing goes, the Boohoo group seem to be one of the worst culprits – participating in ‘ultra-fast fashion’ as ethical report website Good on You puts it. Owning PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal as well as Boohoo itself, in 2019 a report named the group one of the least sustainable fashion brands in the UK. In 2020, allegations about worker exploitation by a supplier of Boohoo in Leicester emerged, and while Boohoo’s sales soared 44% percent during lockdown, it also was reported that factory workers were asked to work with “little to no” social distancing or PPE.
The group are no stranger to a celebrity collab, lest we forget Boohoo’s ‘Sustainability Ambassador’ is none other than Kourtney Kardashian. Whilst Kourtney’s actual role or credentials might be from the outside unclear, many feel it’s Miss Campbell’s hypocrisy that makes the collab so disappointing.
Founding charity Fashion for Relief in 2005 to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina, according to their website the charity has since raised over $15 million for good causes around the world. Their mission statement: “Fashion For Relief is dedicated to improving the lives of those living in adversity, by uniting the fashion industry as a force for good.” There is a certain irony then, at the latest attachment to a brand with the priorities shown by the Boohoo group.
Love islander-turned sustainable fashion campaigner Brett Staniland posted the following video on his TikTok about the link-up.
@twinbrett Naomi Campbell is the new design collaborator with Pretty Little Thing!!! After parting ways with Molly-Mae they have a new direction already (that’s notoriously expensive). All whilst Boohoo group are exploiting suppliers and demanding constantly lower prices! #plt #prettylittlething #naomicampbell #twinbrett #fastfashion #boohoo #boohoohaul #plthaul #ethicalfashion #mollymae ♬ original sound - Brett Staniland
It’s divided opinion, and we’ll certainly be interested to see what the collection actually entails.