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Criticism for Simone Rocha as H&M says her range will not cater for ‘all sizes’

The high street store said the Irish designer's clothes will not be available beyond a size 14 in its European outlets


Designer Simone Rocha. Photo: Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images

Designer Simone Rocha. Photo: Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images

Designer Simone Rocha. Photo: Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images

Irish designer Simone Rocha has been criticised after it emerged that her anticipated range of clothes for H&M will not be size-inclusive.

It was announced this week that the 34-year-old Irish-born designer’s luxury brand would be releasing a limited range with the high street store on March 11. But H&M has since said that the range will not be available beyond a size 14 in its European stores. In the United States, the range will be available up to an “extra large”.

Ms Rocha is set to become the first Irish designer to take part in H&M’s prestigious collaborations. The announcement on social media this week prompted widespread excitement, particularly for Irish shoppers who believed they would have the chance to own one of Ms Rocha’s designs at a more affordable price point.

In a promotional video, Ms Rocha claimed that the range would be available for “all sizes”.

But in a post on Instagram on Friday, H&M said that the range would only be available up to a European size 42 which is around a size 14.

Louise McSharry, the 2fm presenter who is also plus size, said she was deeply disappointed to find out that the range would not be inclusive.

“It’s incredibly disappointing to see that despite the PR materials around this collaboration and Simone Rocha herself referring to catering to ‘all sizes’, that instead the range will only include clothes up to a size 14,” Ms McSharry said.

“Plus size women are constantly excluded from fashion, and it’s deeply frustrating to see designers and brands use buzz words around inclusivity in statements and on websites when the collections themselves are exclusive by definition.”

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The range will feature Ms Rocha designing menswear, childrenswear and beauty products for the first time. The clothing campaign is set to be modelled by Daisy Edgar Jones, the Normal People star, and actor Micheal Ward.

It is understood that Ms Rocha was in negotiation with the Swedish high-street brand since 2018.

In an interview with Vogue, Ms Rocha said that when H&M approached her she said: “If I’m going to do it, I want to do it for everybody, not only women, but for men and children – and to make sure they get the quality.”

A spokeswoman for H&M told the Irish Independent: "It was important to Simone Rocha and H&M to design a collection that can be styled in many different ways, with all items in the collection designed to be special, cherished pieces. H&M´s overall product offering is continuously reviewed depending on the collection, season and customer demand. For this collection we have decided to offer our customers sizes up to 42, but we offer other collections up to size 54."

According to H&M's own website, a size 42 is a UK size 14.

Ms Rocha is the latest high-profile designer to announce a collaboration with the high street store. Since 2004, H&M has announced at least one collaboration with apremium brand like Versace, Balmain or Lanvin each year.

The limited ranges usually sell out within minutes or hours and can often be found being resold for vast multiples of their original price online.

Ms Rocha’s team have been approached for comment.

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