ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Why Did Balenciaga’s Latest Photoshoot Cause Controversy?

Balenciaga has issued an apology for portraying children with bondage gear. They have now taken down the campaign.

Published
What We Know
3 min read
story-hero-img
i
Aa
Aa
Small
Aa
Medium
Aa
Large

Balenciaga, the luxury band, known to stir the internet with its outlandish prices and ideas, has once again come under the scanner for its latest photoshoot for their Spring 2023 collection.

Why did the photoshoot receive flak? The photoshoot in question was a holiday campaign with child models, who were asked to pose with the brand's plush bear bags dressed in bondage gear.

In one of the pictures, people pointed out that a handbag contains the court documents of a Supreme Court case, Ashcroft vs. Free Speech Coalition, which upheld virtual child pornography.

Balenciaga has issued an apology for portraying children with bondage gear. They have now taken down the campaign.

Picture of the photoshoot showing the bear dressed in bondage gear

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Balenciaga has issued an apology for portraying children with bondage gear. They have now taken down the campaign.

Another picture from the controversial photoshoot

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

What did people say? As soon as Balenciaga launched their campaign, it sparked an online outrage. The photoshoot received a huge backlash for sexualizing children and representing images that promote pedophilia and child fetish. Netizens called out the company on its problematic presentation of children and demanded strong action against the company.

Balenciaga has issued an apology for portraying children with bondage gear. They have now taken down the campaign.
Balenciaga has issued an apology for portraying children with bondage gear. They have now taken down the campaign.
Balenciaga has issued an apology for portraying children with bondage gear. They have now taken down the campaign.
Balenciaga has issued an apology for portraying children with bondage gear. They have now taken down the campaign.
Balenciaga has issued an apology for portraying children with bondage gear. They have now taken down the campaign.
Balenciaga has issued an apology for portraying children with bondage gear. They have now taken down the campaign.

Balenciaga's apology: After the heavy criticism online, the company issued an apology on November 22, and withdrew the campaign. Later, Balenciaga stated that they take 'children safety seriously' and will be taking 'legal actions against the parties responsible for creating the set'.

They wrote, "We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused. Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms."

Despite the apology, the company continues to face criticism online and they now have shut their Twitter account and wiped off their Instagram handle.

Campaign Photographer's Response: After the statement by Balenciaga, the campaign photographer, Gabriele Galimberti, took to Instagram clarifying his stance on the issue. Further, he stated that the picture featuring the Supreme Court documents was not taken by him.

Balenciaga has issued an apology for portraying children with bondage gear. They have now taken down the campaign.

Documents from the Supreme Court case

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

He wrote, "I am not in a position to comment Balenciaga’s choices, but I must stress that I was not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same.."
ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Kim Kardashian's reaction: Following the backlash, Kim Kardashian who is also a brand ambassador for the company responded to the controversy. In the series of tweets, she has called out the "disturbing images" and that she is 're-evaluating her relationship with the brand based on their willingness to accept accountability for something that should have never happened to begin with.."

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
Read More
×
×