Back in February, H&M acquired the license to some designs from metal bands, like Metallica and Slayer, to sell in its stores, the irony being here that H&M was selling merch for them that was cheaper than you could get from the bands themselves. It was, ultimately, just the first part of H&M's move into its own metal-inspired clothing. The collective metalheads of Reddit did a little digging of their own to see what the deal was. Turns out that H&M had used a marketing agency to come up with fake metal band names to use on its clothing. Check the promotional video that the agency, Strong Scene Productions, posted. Sure, this is a little pathetic, but nothing that out of the ordinary when it comes to the worlds of fast-fashion and marketing.
A heavy metal website named Metal Injection also took the time to look into this apparent culture vulturing with a skeptical eye, uncovering that Strong Scene made websites and profiles for their fake bands and went as far to make actual music. That's all well and good and corny and H&M was on the receiving end of a bit of deserved backlash for a while. But wait, it goes deeper.
A few of made-up bands had clear connections to Neo-Nazism. Was it to make the collection more believable? Did H&M really do something this fucking stupid? Alas, H&M had been hoodwinked. Strong Scene, its videos and band biographies were all created by a group of metal fans who didn't like what H&M was doing and were never actually employed by H&M in the first place, merely giving off the illusion as such to make H&M look as bad as possible. Talk about an elaborate trolling long con. Noisey got one of them, Henri Sorvali of a Finnish metal band, to break down the whole stunt.
So, why did they even bother with all this? "The purpose of the group (consisting of literally tens of people from different areas of music and media around Scandinavia) was to create discussion on the fact that metal culture is more than just 'cool' looking logos on fashionable clothes, and has many more aesthetic and ideological aspects in different subgenres than what some corporations are trying to express," Sorvali said.
Hey Kanye, just a heads up.