In the 1990s, Cindy Crawford became a supermodel with a body considered slender. But Crawford would look like positively plus-sized compared with the models dominating runways today.

In an interview published on Tuesday in the Metro newspaper, Karl-Johan Persson said the Swedish fashion retailer was very careful when choosing models to front their campaigns - adding his company had a "huge responsibility”.

"There are many models who are too thin and underweight, but there are also those who are just thin, and we will continue working with them as long as they look fresh and healthy," he said."I think we have a huge responsibility. We are a big company, there are many people who see us, and I don't think we have always been good. Some of the models we've had have been too thin. This is something we think about a lot, and something we're working on."

When asked what would happen if H&M were to buck the trend by using more realistic looking body shapes in their advertisements – he was unsure if it would take off. "It's hard to say. It's possible that we can be on board and make a change, but it really is such a big industry," he told the paper.

H&M has been praised recently for its use of a plus-sized model, Jennie Runk, in this season's swimwear campaign. Runk, a size 12, has drawn admiration from supporters around the world for her fuller figure, although H&M denied it was making any statement by choosing to showcase a larger model.

They have also used curvaceous Beyonce to front their high- summer fashion campaign and the pop star is seen showing off her incredible figure in a selection of string-bikinis and incredible dresses, which was a refreshing change from the uber- thin models we are so used to seeing.