Twitter users may have seen the hashtag #banbalenciaga trending over the past few days in protest of the ad campaign.
The Spanish-based, Paris-based fashion house has come under fire following a series of ads featuring children dressed as slaves and holding teddy bears – including fishnet stockings, chokers and chains.
Another ad for the company, whose primary target demographic is millennials, includes legal documents partially obscured by images of the United States Supreme Court’s child abuse case.
The controversial campaign has been described as disturbing, with many accusing Balchigagan – who have pulled the ads – of sexually assaulting children.
Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian and her ex-husband Kanye West have been dragged into the scandal, closely linked to the brand.
Here’s everything we know about the controversy so far.
What does Balenciaga say about advertisements?
Balenciaga has apologized and announced it has removed the offending ads, which were released in support of the company’s Spring 2023 collection as part of Paris Fashion Week – November 22.
“We sincerely apologize for the disruption to our holiday campaign,” the company said in a statement on Instagram. Our plush bear bag should not have been near children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms.
We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against those responsible for creating the collection and including unauthorized items for our Spring 23 campaign photo shoot. We strongly condemn child abuse in any form. We stand for the safety and security of children.
Is legal action being taken?
Balenciaga has recently partnered with manufacturing company North Six, Inc. They confirmed that they would be suing for $25m and had designer Nicolas Des Jardins produce the ads for them.
The New York State Supreme Court has ruled that the inclusion of the images in court documents is “obscene, or at least grossly negligent,” seeking substantial damages from defendants who “hired Balechigaga in connection with an advertising campaign.” He said.
Who took the photos and what about them?
Acclaimed photographer Gabriel Galimberti took the pictures but quickly distanced himself from their content.
He explained on social media: “As a photographer, all that is asked is for the scene to be lit and captured in my signature style. As usual for a commercial shoot, the direction of the campaign and choice of visuals is not in the hands of the photographer,” he said.
Why is Kim Kardashian involved?
American media personality, socialite and businesswoman Kim Kardashian is closely associated with the Balenciaga brand, wearing their clothes at several high-profile events, including the Met Ball and hosting Saturday Night Live.
She recently took to the catwalk to appear in her first Paris Couture show with the brand and said it was a “dream come true”.
What’s up with Kim Kardashian?
Following a period of silence, Kim finally released a statement on November 27, when her 74.3 million Twitter followers asked her for an explanation.
She wrote on Twitter: “I’ve been silent these past few days not because I’m upset and angry with the recent Balenciaga campaigns, but because I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened.” have happened.
“As a mother of four, the disturbing images shook me. Children’s safety must be respected at the highest level and attempts to normalize any form of child abuse should have no place in our society – period.
“I appreciate Balenciaga removing the campaigns and apologizing. I believe that when we talk to them, they will understand the seriousness of the issue and take the necessary steps to prevent this from happening again.
“As for my future with Balenciaga, I am currently re-evaluating my relationship with the brand, based on their willingness to accept responsibility for something that was never there to begin with – and I look forward to seeing them take it. Protecting children.”
What is Kanye West’s involvement?
The rapper and ex-husband of Kim Kardashian, who recently announced plans to run for US president, was also an ambassador for Balenciaga, but the company cut all ties after he made anti-Semitic comments online.
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