H&M Trades David Beckham for Weeknd in Push for Younger Shoppers

  • Five-year partnership with ex-soccer star will end this fall
  • Retailer pens new alliance with Canadian musician The Weeknd

David Beckham

Photographer: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz 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 fall, Stockholm-based H&M said Wednesday. The retailer is teaming up with Grammy-winning R&B artist Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd, for a one-off menswear collection that will be available from March 2.

The Weeknd

The Weeknd

Photographer: Mike Windle/Getty Images

Beckham’s image has been prominent in H&M 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. H&M said Wednesday it isn’t ruling out future collaborations with the London-born star, who also has endorsed Adidas sneakers, Breitling watches and Samsung smartphones.

H&M introduced its first Beckham Bodywear collection featuring formfitting 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.

An H&M 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 favorite items for the H&M collection, entitled Spring Icons Selected by The Weeknd.

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