Balenciaga Stores Vandalized Following Ad Campaign Featuring BDSM And Children
Photo Credit: Photo by Samuel Regan Asante

Photo Credit: Photo by Samuel Regan Asante

Balenciaga Stores Vandalized Following Ad Campaign Featuring BDSM And Children

Fashion , london , los angeles , news , Travel News
Spencer Jones
Spencer Jones Dec 1, 2022

Fashion giant Balenciaga continues to find itself in hot water following its highly questionable ad campaign. Public anger moved from social media, and has taken on the guise of vandalism.

According to The New York Times, “the fallout began on Nov. 16, when Balenciaga published a campaign called Balenciaga Gift Shop. It featured images of children with the brand’s handbags that look like teddy bears in bondage gear.”

Balenciaga has pushed the boundaries of good taste for some time. But just about everybody agrees that this latest campaign is both creepy and highly inappropriate. BDSM references alongside adult models? Fine. But children? There’s no justification.

1. Which Stores Were Vandalized?

One store on Bond Street in London was targeted.

According to The Telegraph, “a man wearing a neon yellow vest and a bobble hat could be seen attaching a vinyl sticker with the word ‘pedophile’ to the front window of the shop.”

Vandals in California didn’t hold back either.

Storefronts near a Balenciaga store on Rodeo Drive were spray painted.

According to The New York Post, there were “large stick-figure drawings of upset-looking kids. One side said, ‘Not 4 sex!’ and the other said, ‘children r not sexual objects.'”

2. What Did The Photographs Show?

According to The New York Times, the ad campaign “was shot by Gabriele Galimberti, an Italian documentary photographer. His photographs featured six children clutching destroyed teddy bear handbags.”

These weren’t ordinary teddy bears, though.  They had on fishnets and leather harnesses, and this detail is what sparked the outrage.

Perceptive people also noticed a court document pertaining to child porn included in the campaign.

The Times continues, “the objects, as well as the children and the location chosen for the shoot had all been selected by Balenciaga, with numerous staff members present during the two days of photography.”

3. The Backlash Has Been Fierce

TikTok users filmed themselves destroying Balenciaga bags, clothing and other products.

One influencer, Chloé Hennessey, urged followers to “stop wearing Balenciaga immediately.”

In an interview with The Independent, she said, “I actually love Balenciaga. They used to be my favorite brand. Obviously I’m not rich, so it was annoying to have to get rid of all of it, but taking a stand is so much more important in my opinion.”

On Twitter, somebody wondered how the photographs made it to the publication stage in the first place.

“Parents, photographers, creative directors, copy writers, web designers, design agency staff, producers, managers, advertisers. And not one of them thought ‘hang on a minute’?” they asked.

 

4. Balenciaga Issued An Apology

Via Instagram, Balenciaga apologized, saying:

“We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused. Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms.”

But the damage was done.

Galimberti himself is taking a lot of heat as well. As noted by The Times, “he’s been inundated with hate mail and death threats, has had jobs canceled and has had personal details, including his phone number, published online.”

Etienne & Ivy Coco Maurice

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