Scandal over a Balenciaga campaign with children and sadomasochistic elements

The controversial Balenciaga Gift Shop campaign

The Spanish luxury firm Balenciaga released last Tuesday an apology for his new campaign that shows two girls posing with teddy bears that appear to be wearing BDSM-style harnessesthe group of erotic practices that includes Bondage, Discipline, Domination, Submission, Sadism and Masochism.

The controversial pulled ads advertised Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection, which debuted this fall at the Paris Fashion Week. It’s called the Balenciaga Gift Shop and it shows young children dressed in the Balenciaga Kids line.

“We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused. Our stuffed bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms,” ​​wrote the company led by Demna Gvasalia He has apologized in a statement posted on his Instagram Story.

Balenciaga has also apologized for showing “disturbing documents” in the campaign after one of the photos appeared to show an excerpt from a court ruling related to child pornography.

Balenciaga’s campaign featured photos of girls and boys holding stuffed animals dressed in harnesses, in settings that also featured other elements of BDSM.

The document shown is that of the Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, ruling that annulled portions of the Federal Child Pornography Prevention Act.

“We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photo shoot. We strongly condemn child abuse in any form. . We defend the safety and well-being of children,” the brand added in its statement.

Last Friday, Balenciaga filed a lawsuit against the company North Six, Inc.. and the set designer Nicholas Des Jardins. He seeks compensation for the damage his image has suffered as a result of the advertising campaign in question.

Balenciaga’s lawyers say North Six and Des Jardins included images of court documents without your knowledge. Something that they qualify as “”malicious or, at least, extraordinarily reckless”.

The campaign also included an excerpt from a court ruling related to child pornography.
The campaign also included an excerpt from a court ruling related to child pornography.

“As a result of the defendants’ misconduct, the public – including the media – have associated the image of balenciaga with a repulsive and deeply disturbing subject matter,” the firm maintains in the lawsuit, according to the complaint.

The photographs of this campaign were taken by Gabriele Galimberti, National Geographic photographer, who has already published a statement explaining his point of view on these events. “As a photographer, I was only required to light the given scene, and take the photos according to my characteristic style. As usual in a publicity shoot, the direction of the campaign and the choice of the objects shown are not in the hands of the photographer”, he explained.

The Kering SA-owned brand generated around $1.81 billion in sales in 2021.

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The article is in Spanish

Tags: Scandal Balenciaga campaign children sadomasochistic elements