Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Today in random celebrity feuds, it’s Justin Bieber versus H&M. Well, maybe calling it a “feud” is a bit much, but whatever is happening between the singer and the clothing brand, it’s definitely not friendly. On Monday, Bieber called out H&M on his Instagram, accusing the brand of selling unapproved merchandise using his likeness and lyrics to his song, “Ghost.” 24 hours later, H&M announced that it had removed the merch from its website and stores.
“I didn’t approve any of the merch collection that they put up at H&M,” Bieber wrote on his Instagram Stories after the collection launched online. “All without my permission and approval,” he added. “SMH I wouldn’t buy it if I were you.” In a follow-up post, he called the line “trash” and encouraged his fans to save their money, saying, “I didn’t approve it, don’t buy it.” It’s unclear if Bieber’s approval was actually required to sell the merch. H&M initially responded with a statement obtained by the Cut, saying, “As with all other licensed products and partnerships, H&M followed proper approval procedures.” The brand later told BuzzFeed, “Out of respect for the collaboration and Justin Bieber, we have removed the garments from our stores and online.”
According to @jbiebertraacker’s post on Instagram, the merch included a white sweatshirt featuring a collage of Bieber photos, a matching tote bag (the only item that appears to be available for purchase on the US H&M website), and “World Tour” merch. (Bieber was forced to cancel his Justice World Tour earlier this year for health reasons.) It also apparently included a cell-phone case and a sweatshirt with the “Ghost” lyric “I miss you more than life.” Prior to posting on his stories, Bieber commented on @jbiebertraacker’s photo, writing, “When everyone finds out I didn’t approve any of this merch smh.”
Bieber does not appear to have filed any legal action against the retailer, per “Page Six.”
This post has been updated.