Hollywood

Balenciaga addresses Grievous Errors

Balenciaga is having to deal with the fallout from a big fashion mistake.

After apologizing for its recent advertising campaigns that focused on children, the high-end brand talked more about the problems and admitted that mistakes were made.

The company said in a Nov. 28 statement, “We strongly condemn child abuse.” It was never our intention to include it in our story. “The two different ad campaigns in question have made a lot of mistakes that Balenciaga is responsible for.”

In the first campaign, which was to collect gifts, kids were shown holding plush bear bags and wearing clothes that looked like they were from BDSM.

“Our stuffed bear bags and gift collection shouldn’t have been shown to kids,” the statement said. “Balenciaga made a bad choice, and we didn’t do a good job of judging and validating images.” “Balenciaga is the only person to blame for this.”

The clothing brand also talked about its second campaign for its spring 2023 collection. It was a photo with a page from a 2008 Supreme Court decision in the background that said promoting child pornography is illegal and is not protected by free speech. The photo was meant to look like a “business office environment.”

“All of the props used in the filming were given by third parties who confirmed in writing that they were fake office documents,” the statement said. “They turned out to be real court documents, probably from the filming of a TV drama.” Balenciaga has filed a complaint about the carelessness that led to the inclusion of these unapproved documents.

The brand also said, “We take full responsibility for our lack of oversight and control of the documents in the background, and we could have done things differently.”

Balenciaga said that while “internal and external investigations are ongoing,” the company will take a number of steps, such as closely revising our organisation and collective ways of working, strengthening the structures around our creative processes and validation steps, and laying the groundwork with organisations that specialise in child protection and want to stop child abuse and exploitation.

“We want to learn from our mistakes and figure out how we can help,” said the end of the statement. “Balenciaga apologises again for the hurt we’ve caused and apologises to talent and partners as well.”

After the campaigns went viral, Balenciaga took down the images on November 22 and apologised “for any offence” people may have taken from the images of the children holding stuffed animals in the Christmas ad and “for exhibiting troubling documents” in the spring ad.

According to court records sent to the Supreme Court of the State of New York on November 25 and obtained by E! News, Balenciaga sued North Six Inc., its agent, and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins for $25 million in “extensive damages.” In the documents, the fashion company said that “unexplainable acts and omissions” were “malevolent” or, at the very least, “highly imprudent” and were done without Balenciaga’s knowledge.

Two days later, Kim Kardashian, who often works with the luxury brand, spoke out about the scandal. She said she was “shocked and outraged” by the recent Balenciaga ads.

“As a mother of four, those disturbing images have shaken me,” she wrote on Nov. 27 on her Instagram Story. “The safety of children is the most important thing, and anything that goes against that has no place in our society.”

But the 42-year-old, who has North West, 9, Saint West, 6, Chicago West, 4, and Psalm West, 3, with ex-husband Kanye West, said she appreciated Balenciaga’s initial apology and thinks the brand “understands the seriousness of the issue and will take the necessary steps to make sure this never happens again.”

Kim also said that she is “reevaluating” her relationship with the brand based on “their willingness to take responsibility for something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place” and the steps she expects them to take to protect children.

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