Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Universal Music
- Justin Bieber had lashed out at H&M on Instagram for selling “trash” merch featuring his image.
- The Swedish fast-fashion giant clarified Thursday it has the rights to sell merch featuring the singer’s imagery.
- H&M said it still removed the items from sale “out of respect” for Bieber.
The ongoing tiff between Canadian singer Justin Bieber and Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M has intensified.
H&M said on Thursday it had obtained the rights to sell merchandise featuring Bieber’s imagery, following the artist’s harsh criticism that he “didn’t approve” them.
“Justin’s license holder has confirmed that H&M had the right contracts in place and followed all proper approval procedures for each selected design,” the Stockholm-based retailer said in a statement.
The clarification came after Bieber slammed the items on his Instagram stories on Monday, where he called the merch “trash” and urged his 270 million followers not to buy them. “I didn’t approve it,” he said.
H&M’s online store was offering hoodies, t-shirts and sweatshirts with pictures of Bieber or quotes from his lyrics such as “I miss you more than life” from the song “Ghost” for prices between $49.80-$114.
H&M has now said it removed the merch from its stores and website “out of respect” for Bieber.
“We have been Justin Bieber’s merchandise partner since 2016 and we are very proud of the work we have done so far,” H&M added.
Representatives for Bieber did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours.
H&M is the world’s second-largest fashion retailer after Inditex, the owner of Zara.
H&M shares are down about 37% this year.