Luxury house, Balenciaga, known for its unconventional and thought-provoking fashion statements, is stuck in the midst of controversies and allegations, amid releasing the controversial Balenciaga Gift Shop campaign. The internet has gone ballistic, accusing it of condoning child exploitation.
Balenciaga introduced two Balenciaga Gift Shop campaigns. One of them contained disturbing images of children holding handbags that look like teddy bears in bondage gear and the other included paperwork about child pornography laws. Ever since the launch, it has received a lot of backlash and criticism from the public, critics, and big stars and long-time collaborators like Kim Kardashian.
Demna, the artistic director of Balenciaga since 2015, has released an apology, saying, “I want to personally apologize for the wrong artistic choice of concept for the gifting campaign with the kids and I take my responsibility. It was inappropriate to have kids promote objects that had nothing to do with them.”
He also added, “As much as I would sometimes like to provoke a thought through my work, I would NEVER have an intention to do that with such an awful subject as child abuse that I condemn. Period. I need to learn from this, listen and engage with child protection organizations to know how I can contribute and help on this terrible subject.”
The brand also took responsibility and issued, “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.”