Luxury brand Balenciaga has apologized for its Christmas advertisements. The French fashion house was condemned for putting up advertisements that had reportedly sexualised images of children.
Figures from the fashion industry spoke up against this calling on the public to not buy their products.
Kim Kardashian, who is brand ambassador for Balenciaga said, “I am currently re-evaluating my relationship with [Balenciaga] basing it off their willingness to accept accountability for something that should have never happened to begin with – and the actions I am expecting to see them take to protect children,” she said.
Balenciaga has already posted two apologies on Instagram on November 28 stating that the campaign has been cancelled.
“We would like to address the controversies surrounding our recent ad campaigns. We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent to include it in our narrative.
“The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility. The first campaign, the gift collection campaign featured children with plush bear bags dressed in what some have labelled BDSM-inspired outfits. Our plush bear bags and the gift collection should not have been featured with children. This was a wrong choice by Balenciaga, combined with our failure in assessing and validating images.
Balenciaga Files Complaint
The responsibility for this lies with Balenciaga alone.
“The second, separate campaign for spring 2023, which was meant to replicate a business office environment included a photo with a page in the background from a Supreme Court ruling ‘United States V.Williams’ 2008 which confirms as illegal and not protected by freedom of speech the promotion of child pornography.”
“All the items included in the shooting were provided by third parties that confirmed in writing that these props were fake office documents. They turned out to be [real] papers most likely coming from the filming of a television drama. The inclusion of these unapproved documents was the result of reckless negligence for which Balenciaga has filed a complaint.
“We take full accountability for our lack of oversight and control of the documents in the background and we could have done things differently.”
The apology on Instagram also stated that investigations were ongoing and it was revising its way of working.
“We are laying the groundwork with organisations who specialize in child protection [and aim] at ending child abuse and exploitation. We want to learn from our mistakes and identify ways we can contribute.
“Balenciaga reiterates its sincere apologies for the offence we have caused and extends its apologies to talents and partners.”
In addition to the above controversy, actress Nicole Kidman has also been receiving brickbats for not denouncing Balenciaga as fans call her ‘clueless’ and unconcerned’.
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