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Kim Kardashian speaks out against Balenciaga

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Kim Kardashian speaks out against Balenciaga


Fashion powerhouse Balenciaga has been under the spotlight over an inappropriate campaign featuring children holding stuffed animals in bondage.

The campaign gained widespread criticism, and pressure was on Kim Kardashian as she was heavily criticised for staying silent. The reality star is an ambassador for Balaneciaga, but she did not comment until Sunday. 

She addressed her followers on Instagram and Twitter, saying the reasoning behind her silence was that she wanted the opportunity to speak to Balenciaga’s team to understand how this would have happened.

Balenciaga’s response

The brand was promoting its latest campaign on its social media feeds from 16 November. Images surrounding the campaign went viral all over the internet, as users were scrutinising the props in the image, criticising the brand for “over-sexualising” young children.

The company is now being accused of “endorsing child pornography” as court documens were used as props refer to “virtual child porn”. However, after the criticism, the brand removed the photos from the campaign and said “it should not have been featured with children”. The drama continues to brew as the company has stated it will take legal action “against the parties responsible” for the creation of the campaign which included “unapproved items” in the photo shoot. 

Is Balenciaga refusing to be accountable?

The brand’s apology has attempted to steer the attention away from Balenciaga and instead focuses on the parties involved in using the “unapproved” items. The spotlight was shined upon the photographer, Gabriele Galimberti, who issued a statement that he was “not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither choose the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same.”

“As a photographer, I was only and solely requested to [light] the given scene, and take the shots according to my signature style. As usual for a commercial shooting, the direction of the campaign and the choice of the objects displayed are not in the hands of the photographer,” he says.

“I suspect that any person prone to pedophilia searches on the web and has [sic] unfortunately a too easy access to images completely different than mine, absolutely explicit in their awful content. Accusations like these are addressed against wrong targets, and distract from the real problem, and criminals.”

The brand has filed a $25 million lawsuit against North Six, and set designer, Nicholas Des Jardins, for their role in creating the second ad. As the saga continues, Balenciaga’s newest recruit, Nicole Kidman has stayed silent after the hashtag #cancelbalenciaga has had over 25 million views on TikTok.

Criticism has also continued regarding the usually numerous levels of approvals campaigns go through before launch. People are asking how a mulit-million dollar company can make such a huge mistake, intentionally or unintentionally.  But the fashion powerhouse has signed off in a statement, “We sincerely apologise for any offence our holiday campaign may have caused.” 


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Benay Ozdemir

Benay is an in-house writer for Niche Media.

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