Balenciaga ambassador Kim Kardashian has spoken out after the luxury fashion house was embroiled in controversy over its recent holiday campaign.
Kardashian released a statement about Balenciaga’s campaign, which sparked backlash for referring to child pornography and featuring baby models alongside fetish images, via her Instagram Story on Sunday.
The reality TV star turned beauty mogul said she was “shaken” by the “disturbing images” of the campaign. Kardashian added that she is currently re-evaluating her professional relationship with Balenciaga.
“I’ve kept quiet the past few days, not because I wasn’t disgusted and angry with Balenciaga’s recent campaigns, but because I wanted a chance to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could happen,” Kardashian wrote. Attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society – period.”
She continued, “I appreciate Balenciaga’s removal of the campaigns and her apology. Speaking with them, I believe they understand the seriousness of the issue and will take the necessary measures so that this does not happen again.”
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Balenciaga found herself in trouble when her holiday campaign sparked outrage from social media users and activists, according to the New York Post, Cosmopolitan UK and Fox News.
One ad from the campaign featured child models carrying the brand’s “plush bear bags,” teddy bears dressed in bondage outfits, while another ad promoting her “Hourglass” handbag contained court documents that referenced Supreme Court cases on child pornography.
Balenciaga issued an apology for the controversy on her Instagram story on Tuesday.
“We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused,” the company wrote. She added, “The plush teddy bear bags were never meant to appear with children in this campaign. … We strongly condemn child abuse in any form. We stand up for children’s safety and well-being.”
Regarding featuring court documents in its campaign, the fashion brand said it was taking legal action against “the parties responsible for creating the collection and including the unapproved items.” Balenciaga filed a $25 million lawsuit Friday against production company North Six, Inc., The Post reported. and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins to use the legal documents in the campaign.
Gabriele Gallimberti, one of the campaign’s photographers, also bet on the scandal on Wednesday, saying he was not involved in preparing the photo shoot.
“As a photographer, I alone was asked to light the exact scene and take pictures according to my signature style,” Gallimberti wrote on Instagram. “As usual for commercial photography, the direction of the campaign and the choice of objects to be shown are not in the hands of the photographer.”
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