Thompson's inclusion in H&M's campaign is a fusion of his interests and skills, a perfect pairing of talent and product. He's all about making people happy, sharing his spark in the hopes that it keeps others going. The H&M collection fits perfectly with his self-proclaimed '90s aesthetic, full of retro references that collide with wiggling rainbows, sharp blacks, and smart sequins. Thompson shares the duties of modeling with actress and activist Laverne Cox, influencer Shannon Beveridge, and lifestyle bloggers Brock Williams and Chris Lin. As you see in the campaign, Thompson shows that laughter is the best medicine — and he wants his queer peers to have a dose on him.
Thompson says the hate he and his fellow LGBTQ+ folks weather can get him down. It's easy to let the weight of the world get to you — but when you're Rickey Thompson? "I don't want to sound conceited but, when I'm sad, I always turn to myself," he says with a booming guffaw. "I always have to put myself in that happy state of mind. I'm like, 'You know what, Rickey? Today may be awful or rough, but you can get through it: just laugh. Laugh it through.'"
This way of looking inward to heal seems to be working wonders, creating a self-fulfilling success loop. "I will get up in the morning and go, 'Oh my god. Rickey, you look amazing today — let me record it.' It's as simple as that."
When this doesn't work, he turns to his friends, a tight group of both supporters and collaborators. In his eyes, you have to have your own community — especially as a queer person. "It's so great to have a core group of friends," he says. "They're always there to give me advice, they're always there to give ideas. It helps a lot."