Swedish fashion retailer Hennes Mauritz (HM) is swapping retired soccer star David Beckham for a 26-year-old Canadian musician as it seeks to win over young shoppers.
A near five-year partnership with Beckham, 41, will end this autumn.
Stockholm-based HM is teaming up with Grammy-winning RB artist Abel Tesfaye, also known as
The Weeknd, for a one-off menswear collection that will be available from March 2.
Beckham’s image has been prominent in HM stores since the retailer began what it called a “long-term” partnership in 2011 with the former England captain, who designed everything from underwear to raincoats. HM said it isn’t ruling out future collaborations with the London-born star, who has also endorsed Adidas sports shoes, Breitling watches and Samsung smartphones.
HM introduced its first Beckham Bodywear collection, featuring form-fitting underwear, in 2012 and expanded the partnership to include a broader range of garments, including jerseys and light summer suits dubbed Modern Essentials, in March 2015.
The collaboration received widespread attention through advertisements including a Super Bowl spot that allowed fans to vote just how undressed they wanted Beckham to be.
Twitter reaction to The Weeknd signing up HM
THE WEEKND IS DOING A STREETWEAR COLLAB WITH HM. SO I DON’T EXPECT TO HAVE ANY MONEY SOON.
— Connor (@The_Melancholy) November 1, 2016
HM is collaborating with The Weeknd come spring and no one else is feeling as strongly about it as I am. I’m SHOOK
— Laiana Lewis (@lai_lenae) November 1, 2016
The Weeknd and HM? this is a dream https://t.co/l9Shx8yCG3
— TOBY (@tobyalso) November 1, 2016
An HM spokeswoman said there’s no link between the end of the Beckham partnership and the signing of Tesfaye, who promoted his new album, Starboy, on NBC’s Saturday Night Live last month and has collaborated with Kanye West, Beyonce and Justin Timberlake.
Tesfaye, who is of Ethiopian descent, will choose his favourite items for the HM collection, entitled Spring Icons Selected by The Weeknd.