Balenciaga criticized for ‘scary’ ads featuring children in ‘slave outfits’
Balenciaga has issued a statement “strongly condemning” child abuse as it addresses the fallout from its controversial advertising campaigns involving children.
On Monday, the fashion house shared a new statement on Instagram saying it “would like to address the controversy surrounding our recent ad campaigns.”
Balenciaga has faced widespread backlash over two recent ad campaigns involving children. One of the ads, the designer’s gift collection campaign, featured children posing with the brand’s teddy bear purses, which critics pointed out appeared to be wearing BDSM and bondage-inspired accessories.
The second ad analyzed is Balenciaga’s spring 2023 campaign, for using a print of a Supreme Court ruling on child pornography.
In the post, the designer brand wrote: “We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intention to include her in our narrative.
“The two separate advertising campaigns in question reflect a series of serious errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility.”
Despite the statement, backlash against the controversial ads continued, with renewed criticism focused on the inclusion of a book about Michaël Borremans, a Belgian artist whose previous work included depictions of castrated children, in the spring 2023 campaign.
Amid the fallout, Kylie Jenner has denied claims she posted never-before-seen photos of her family to distract from the scandal.
Stay tuned for the latest updates.
Jenner’s response comes as many fans have called on celebrities to publicly denounce the brand, while some have suggested Kim Kardashian should have cut ties with the company over the scandal.
Candace Owens was among those who slammed the Skims founder’s response as not strong enough, with the conservative commentator claiming the reality star should have decided she was “done with Balenciaga”.
Chelsea RitschelNovember 29, 2022 11:30 p.m
Kylie Jenner has hit back at a TikToker claiming she posted family photos to distract from the Balenciaga scandal after the Kylie Cosmetics star shared never-before-seen pictures of herself and nine-month-old son Travis Scott.
Jenner denied the allegation in a TikTok comment, writing: “Ugh, why would I post my baby to cover Balenciaga? That’s why I don’t do this. Always something to say.”
Chelsea RitschelNovember 29, 2022 10:30 p.m
In a statement released on Monday, Balenciaga said it “takes responsibility” for the “series of serious errors” that led to the publication of the two campaigns and said the company would “closely review its organization and collective ways of working” in light of the fallout. .
Chelsea RitschelNovember 29, 2022 9:22 p.m
While celebrities and notables have spoken out against Balenciaga in light of the controversial campaigns, not everyone who works with the brand has denounced the luxury designer.
Nicole Kidman, who features in the brand’s spring 2023 campaign, has remained silent amid the backlash, prompting fans to call for her to denounce Balenciaga.
You can read more about the reactions below.
Chelsea RitschelNovember 29, 2022 7:15 p.m
Galimberti, who has 20 years of experience as a documentary photographer, also fears the impact the backlash will have on his career, as he estimates he has already lost $10,000 in wages since the Balenciaga controversy, according to WWD.
The Balenciaga referral marked his first mission in the fashion industry.
Chelsea RitschelNovember 29, 2022 6:30 p.m
In the same interview with WWD, from Milan National Geographic the photographer said he was accused of controversy and was inundated with messages from angry people because of his involvement.
According to Galimberti, who said he was concerned for his personal safety, “90 percent” of the messages came from individuals in the US. “Fortunately, I live in Italy and not in the States,” he said, adding that he had received messages referring to him as a “sick pervert.”
While Galimberti shot the Gift Collection campaign featuring children posing with Balenciaga bears dressed in BDSM-inspired accessories, he was not involved in the Spring 2023 campaign, which was shot by Joshua Bright, while the accessory images for the campaign were photographed by Chris Maggio.
Chelsea Ritschel29 November 2022 18:00
Photographer Gabriele Galimberti, who shot the Gift Collection campaign featuring children posing with teddy bears, also criticized the brand, claiming that Balenciaga waited too long to clarify that the campaign was separate from the one that included documents of Supreme Court on child pornography.
“It was two different campaigns, two different photographers. The Supreme Court documents were not in the campaign with the children,” Galimberti said in an interview with WWD on Monday.
Chelsea RitschelNovember 29, 2022 5:28 p.m
As outrage over the campaigns continues, many have called for a boycott of Balenciaga, with the hashtag #CancelBalenciaga trending on social media.
In addition, some former customers took their responses a step further, with one Balenciaga fan snapping up thousands worth of clothing from the luxury brand.
Chloe Hennessey, 27, filmed herself cutting up a Balenciaga hoodie which retails for around $720 (£600).
Chelsea RitschelNovember 29, 2022 5:06 p.m
Everything you need to know about what’s happening at Balenciaga
A lot has happened since Balenciaga launched its controversial campaign, which featured children holding teddy bears. We wouldn’t blame you if you were confused – so my colleague Meredith Clark laid it all out.
Get all the details here:
Kate Ng29 November 2022 17:00
Fashion Law Institute Says Balenciaga’s Lawsuit Is ‘Inappropriate’
After Balenciaga filed a lawsuit against production company North Six and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins over their disastrous campaign, an expert at the Fashion Law Institute in New York said it had been “misplaced”.
The luxury brand accused the companies they hired of “extensive damages” after the severe backlash from the campaign.
Susan Scafidi of the Fashion Law Institute said Diet Prada via e-mail: “If Balenciaga had been primarily interested in monetary compensation for the advertising disaster, it probably would have taken time to negotiate a quiet settlement.
“Instead, Balenciaga filed an immediate, press-worthy lawsuit to disavow the campaign in the strongest possible terms and give the public another pair of villains in the form of the production company and the set designer.”
Kate NgNovember 29, 2022 4:30 p.m