Pamela Reif x Hunkemöller
Having had an extremely busy couple of months at work, when I recently received a press release from Hunkemöller about an influencer collaboration I just ignored it. After all, they don’t really do collaborations the way a brand like Playful Promises does, so I didn’t want to spend any of my precious spare time and energy writing bland words about lingerie that was inevitably going to be photographed on a slim able-bodied young white cis woman (because big brands never collaborate with influencers who don’t fit that category).
But then they sent a chasing email, which made me cross, and I read it at a time when I had just enough brain capacity to attempt a blog post… so, here we are. Hunkemöller have collaborated with German influencer Pamela Reif on this lingerie collection, and the following is not an attack on her. It is more about my thoughts on the lingerie industry and the sorts of influencers who are deemed worthy of a collaboration like this. The press blurb begins with…
“The Pamela Reif Hunkemoller blogger collection has just launched. The stunning lingerie collection was launched with a party in Soho House Berlin.”
If I wasn’t invited, why should I care? This is like sending out a press release that says ‘you’re not important enough to come to our party, but you put stuff on the Internet and we’d like more of that.’ I used to treat press releases as easy content for my blog, but when they don’t even acknowledge that you’re doing them a favour, it’s pretty frustrating. They continue…
“After a short introduction from Pamela and Director of Design Zoë, the press and influencers tucked into to a healthy lunch (#foodgoals). The guests were then split up into groups and there were loads of lingerie-related activities to try out (beauty suite anyone?)”
Where do I start? That unnecessary hashtag seems like a good place. I mean, why?! It’s not even like they sent me any photos of the food, so I have no way of knowing if it’s actually “foodgoals” or not. To be honest, if it’s not the vegan burger I had at The Apple Tree pub recently, I’m just not interested. Also, what the fuck are “lingerie related activities”? Suggestions in the comments please.
“Pamela is one of the biggest influencers in Germany. She loves nothing more than inspiring and motivating people through her Instagram Pamela_rf and her very own app. She shares content on fashion, beauty, travel and fitness, so designing her own lingerie collection with Hunkemoller is an exciting next step for her.”
Taking a look at her Instagram account, I’m kinda surprised this is a lacy fashion collection and not stylish sports bras. I bet Pamela could sell a lot of activewear with those abs. Mind you, I scrolled a little further and found that she’s an ambassador for a big sportswear brand, so perhaps that’s why. Diversifying her portfolio, extending her reach and all that.
The lingerie itself is very pretty (other than the asymmetric bras which made me cringe so hard my teeth hurt), and will no doubt be a great first step out of basic t-shirt bras for many young women who are priced out of a lot of beautiful lingerie. A gateway drug leading to a lifelong lingerie obsession, if you will.
However, it makes me sad that a 22 year old with a large Instagram following gets to launch a lingerie collection with a big European brand, when many 22 year olds who spent the last 3 or 4 years studying lingerie design and construction at university didn’t. I’m not saying that Pamela didn’t work very hard for her toned body and her 3.9m Instagram followers, but the graduates of courses like LCF’s BA Fashion Contour course have worked just as hard (if not harder)… ON DESIGNING LINGERIE.
I wouldn’t mind so much if I was seeing plenty of women of colour getting these types of opportunities with big brands. I understand why brands that don’t offer larger sizes don’t use plus size influencers, and why brands whose target markets are teens and twentysomethings don’t use influencers over 40, but why is it always the white girls?
Anyway, here are some of the nicely styled lookbook images and a link to the collection online, so you can judge for yourselves whether it’s worth buying. If you have any thoughts on the designs, or know of any non-white influencers who’ve scored a high profile collaboration opportunity like this, let me know in the comments.
The Pamela Reif x Hunkemöller collection is available now at hunkemoller.co.uk