The popular fashion brand Balenciaga has been in hot water over their shocking new campaigns. The controversy began when Balenciaga published a campaign that was named “Balenciaga Gift Shop.”
It included six children that were clutching destroyed teddy bear bags which had bondage outfits, fishnets and harnesses. The pictures also show wine glasses, and other suggestive material around the children during the photoshoot.
The photos were originally shot by Gabriele Galimberti, who stated that the objects and the children were all selected by Balenciaga. Online criticism of the campaigns spread shortly after the campaign was released, and Fox News TV personality Tucker Carlson spoke out about the controversial pictures.
“Here you have a major international retail brand promoting kiddie porn and sex with children,” Carlson told viewers, “and not promoting it subtly but right out in the open.”
The graphic pictures were a collective shock to many social media users, who accused the brand of condoning and promoting pedophilia.
Fashion mogul and artist Kanye “Ye” West has been very vocal about the recent events pertaining to Balenciaga. As many know, Balenciaga chose to terminate its relationship with Ye after his antisemitic comments about the Jewish community.
“You don’t see no celebrities talking about the Balenciaga situation,” Ye told paparazzi.
Many people on various social media platforms have taken Ye’s side as he has spoken out against celebrities being controlled by fashion brands. Kim Kardashian, who is also known to have a longstanding relationship with Balenciaga has also been added to the controversy especially after her claims to evaluate her relationship with the brand versus terminating it completely.
“As a mother of four, I have been shaken by the disturbing images,” Kardashian posted. “The safety of children must be held with the highest regard and any attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society — period.”
Candace Owens, who is an American conservative and political commentator, has also slammed Kardashian for not releasing a statement.
“That is stupid, Kim,” Owens said in response. “You want us to believe that you took six days because you were just trying to understand what happened? Something that we all understood within minutes of seeing the photo.”
Owens went on to slam Kardashian, “I told you before that she prostitutes herself for fame. She’s done it since the very beginning. She’s willing to go so far as continuing that relationship with fame that child pedophilia and pornography does not disrupt this girl for a single second.”
A couple of months before this scandal, Owens was seen posing with Kardashian’s ex-husband Kanye “Ye” West, wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt, which she said further showed the hypocrisy of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
Balenciaga is owned by Kering, which is a French luxury conglomerate that also owns popular brands like Saint Laurent and Gucci, who have also been the faces of problematic campaigns in the past years.
On November 25, Balenciaga filed a $25 million lawsuit against North Six, Inc. and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins over the controversial campaign. The suit claims that the defendants included the Willams documents “without Balenciaga’s knowledge or authorization.” The suit goes on to say that as a result of the “defendant’s misconduct, members of the public, including the news media, have falsely and horrifically associated Balenciaga with the repulsive and deeply disturbing subject of the court decision.”
Some have criticized the lawsuit as an attempt by Balenciaga to absolve itself of accountability.