Celebrities throw out ‘trash’ Balenciaga over child ad campaign – latest
Balenciaga under fire over ‘creepy’ ads of kids with ‘bondage outfits’
The backlash surrounding Balenciaga’s recent ad campaigns involving children has remained strong as fans and celebrities continue to denounce the luxury brand.
The Spanish fashion house recently found itself embroiled in controversy over two recent ad campaigns. The first campaign, the designer’s gift collection campaign, was criticised for using children to model its teddy bear purses, after critics pointed out the bears appeared to be wearing BDSM and bondage-inspired accessories.
The second ad under scrutiny is Balenciaga’s Spring 2023 campaign, which featured a printout of a Supreme Court decision on child pornography and a book about Beligan artist Michaël Borremans, whose earlier work included depictions of castrated children.
In an attempt to address the fallout, Balenciaga has issued two statements regarding the since-removed campaigns. In the most recent, released on Monday, the brand said it “strongly condemned” child abuse while alleging it was never its intent to “include it in our narrative”.
Balenciaga also filed a lawsuit against the production company behind the Spring 2023 shoot.
The statements and legal complaint have done little to quell the intense reactions from the public over the ads, with many calling for a boycott of the luxury brand, while celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Nicole Kidman have been called on to cut ties with Balenciaga.
Kardashian, a longtime ambassador of the brand, ultimately announced in a statement shared to social media that she would be “re-evaluating” her relationship with Balenciaga moving forward, while her sister Kylie Jenner appeared to distance herself from the brand when she dismissed speculation that she and her famous family were “covering up” for Balenciaga with “calculated” social media posts.
For all the latest updates regarding the ongoing Balenciaga scandal, follow along below.
“Distraction and aversion at its finest!” one Instagram user wrote, while another added: “Random pictures…nothings going to distract us this time Kim!”
A third said: “Just a test post to see how people are reacting to her #cancelbalenciaga #cancelkimkardashian”
Kylie Jenner was also accused by fans of posting pictures of her children to distract from the Balenciaga controversy when she shared rare glimpse at her four-year-old daughter Stormi and nine-month-old son, whose name has not been confirmed.
“Uh why would I post my child to cover up for Balenciaga? This is why I don’t do this. Always something to say,” the Kylie Cosmetics founder responded.
Meredith Clark2 December 2022 00:30
Bella Hadid has been criticised for remaining silent on the Balenciaga scandal, ever since she appeared in Balenciaga’s Spring 2023 campaign, in which one of the ad photos used a Supreme Court case on child pornography as a prop.
However, the supermodel seemed to make a subtle statement when she appeared to have deleted an Instagram post from the Balenciaga photoshoot.
The New York City high-rise themed photoshoot also stars Nicole Kidman, Isabelle Huppert, and Han So Hee.
Meredith Clark1 December 2022 23:30
Joe Bloggs, known by his artist name as The Average Man, placed a vinyl sticker with the words “paedophilia” on the store’s glass display window at its New Bond street location in central London.
The words appeared three times in black below two back-to-back facing letter “Ps”.
Balenciaga London store vandalised after controversial campaign
Bloggs explained that the graffiti was in response to Balenciaga’s recent campaign controversy, in which the luxury fashion house published two ads involving children.
A TikToker captured Bloggs defacing the Balenciaga store window in a video captioned: “POV: you’re walking through Central London enjoying the lights and see Balenciaga getting cancelled”.
Meredith Clark1 December 2022 22:35
NFL star Cooper Krupp weighed in on the Balenciaga controversy when he criticised the brand in a Twitter post on 26 November.
The Los Angeles Rams wide receiver called on his followers to “make [themselves] aware of the attack against our young ones” by the fashion label, and asked people to “stand up” against companies who “advertise evil”.
“To try to be a voice for our children, who rely on the protection of the men and women that were entrusted the responsibility of nurturing them and raising them up: please make yourself aware of the attack against our young ones by @balenciaga, and ensure that they are held responsible for it!” Kupp tweeted.
“For those of us in positions to create change in the way that companies manipulate people and advertise evil, please stand up!”
Meredith Clark1 December 2022 20:00
Despite the apologies, the furor over the campaigns continued, with Balenciaga issuing a second statement regarding the controversy on 28 November.
In the social media statement, the brand said it “strongly condemns” child abuse, while noting “it was never our intent to include it in our narrative”.
The statement followed legal action taken by the brand on 25 November, when Balenciaga filed a lawsuit against the production company behind the Spring 2023 ad.
Chelsea Ritschel1 December 2022 19:31
As the backlash sparked by the social media reactions to the campaigns increased, Balenciaga was forced to address the controversy.
The brand issued its first statement regarding the ads on 22 November, when it removed the images and apologised for both the holiday ad featuring children and the Spring 2023 ad that included court documents pertaining to child pornography.
Chelsea Ritschel1 December 2022 19:00
The issues raised in Venti’s video made their way to Twitter shortly after she posted her initial TikTok regarding the controverisal campaign.
There, a user by the username @Shoe0nHead, increased awareness of the concerns over the ads when they tweeted: “The brand Balenciaga just did a uh….. interesting… photoshoot for their new products recently which included a very purposely poorly hidden court document about ‘virtual child porn’. Normal stuff.”
Chelsea Ritschel1 December 2022 18:00
According to TikToker Brittany Venti, who became one of the first critics to condemn the ads when she posted a TikTok video about the campaigns on 20 November, she did so after thinking “that’s really messed up” upon seeing the photographs.
Venti, who spoke to BuzzFeed, said she came across the Balenciaga photoshoot of children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage while browsing for fashion news for her YouTube channel.
“I was like: ‘That’s really messed up,’” Venti told BuzzFeed. “They’re holding fetish gear. They’re promoting people’s kinks. And it’s not even a brand that’s supposed to be marketing toward children for any reason. They’re just using the children to market these fetishes.”
Chelsea Ritschel1 December 2022 17:24
In the comments under Aldean’s post, fans and fellow celebrities praised her for seemingly disposing of her Balenciaga items.
“Yes mama,” Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson commented alongside a clapping hands emoji, while one fan wrote: “Thank you for using your platform to lead well!”
Chelsea Ritschel1 December 2022 15:55
As the backlash continues into its second week, Brittany Aldean, wife of Jason Aldean, shared a photo of herself throwing out her Balenciaga bags.
“It’s trash day @Balenciaga,” Aldean captioned the photo.
Chelsea Ritschel1 December 2022 14:34