The scandal over Balenciaga’s Christmas ad campaign is still receiving negative feedback, so company executives are now speaking out. Demna Gvasalia, the creative director of the Spanish fashion house, apologized on December 2 for the “inappropriate” idea for the “Balenciaga Gift Shop” ad.
In recent weeks, Balenciaga has been under fire for their advertisements that show kids holding teddy bears while sporting what appear to be BDSM-inspired accessories. A separate graphic included a page from the United States v. Williams decision by the Supreme Court from 2008, which determined that the advertising of child pornography was not protected by the First Amendment.
The 41-year-old creative director wrote on Instagram.
“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. 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.”
Gvasalia said he needs to learn from the incident, “listen and engage with child protection organizations” so he can “help on this terrible subject.” He also apologized to anyone who was offended by the visuals.
“Balenciaga has guaranteed that adequate measures will be taken not only to avoid similar mistakes in the future but also to take accountability in protecting child welfare in every way we can,” Gvasalia concluded.