Balenciaga: Ad Campaigns 'Reflect a Series of Grievous Errors' for Which They Take Responsibility

We’ve been reporting for a week about fashion company Balenciaga’s ad campaign featuring BDSM teddy bears and pedophilic symbolism. On Friday we reported that the company was filing a $25 million lawsuit against those involved with producing the campaign, and Monday morning reported on Kim Kardashian’s response, and Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp‘s much more appropriate response.


What was being termed a right wing conspiracy theory last week is now being taken extremely seriously.

Balenciaga posted a much more detailed explanation of what happened and admission of responsibility  for the ad campaign on its Instagram account Monday, the first post since they deleted all of their content last week.


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They first addressed the BDSM teddy bears, sorta.

“The gift collection campaign featured children with plush bear bags dressed in what some have labelled BDSM-inspired outfits. Our plush bear bags and the gift collection should not have been featured with children. This was a wrong choice by Balenciaga, combined with our failure in assessing and validating images. The responsibility for this lies with Balenciaga alone.”

According to Daily Mail, the campaign had to do with “an exploration of what people collect and receive as gifts.”

Earlier this month, the Paris-based company said that its controversial ad ‘iterates on the artist’s series Toy Stories, an exploration of what people collect and receive as gifts,’ according to a press release.

It went on to say that it would feature ‘dozens of new products ranging from homeware, pet wear and scent, from everyday items to limited-edition collectibles and bespoke furniture.’

Maybe that explains the spiked bowl and leash on the table, and insinuates that they were meant for pets and not for the child in the photo? Regardless, the imagery screams “groomer.”

Deleted ad from Balenciaga’s holiday campaign featuring collar, spiked bowl. CREDIT: Instagram/Balenciaga

Regarding the photo of the purse on a desk with the US v. Williams court ruling in the background, Balenciaga says they were told the props were fake office documents, and firmly push “third parties” under the bus:

“All the items included in this shooting were provided by third parties that confirmed in writing these props were fake office documents. They turned out to be real legal papers most likely coming from the filming of a television drama. The inclusion of these unapproved documents was the result of reckless negligence for which Balenciaga has filed a complaint.

“We take full accountability for our lack of oversight and control of the documents in the background and we could have done things differently.”

The post then lists three actions Balenciaga is taking “while internal and external investigations are ongoing,” including “revising our organization and collective ways of working,” “reinforcing the structures around our creative processes and validation steps,” and “laying the groundwork with organizations who specialize in child protection.”

That should include not hiring photographers with softcore kiddie porn or other disturbing images in their portfolio, and taking a close look at who’s styling things.


Absent from Balenciaga’s statement were any references to the ad featuring a coffee table book of Michael Borremans artwork – which features photos of disfigured toddlers, some of whom look to be castrated.

Balenciaga ad featuring coffee table book of Michael Borremans. CREDIT: Instagram/Balenciaga

This tweet shows some of the disturbing imagery.

The artist seems to be known to Balenciaga; some Twitter users have pointed out the similarities between his other artwork and Kim Kardashian’s Balenciaga-styled Met Gala gown.

Balenciaga also did not address the photo in which caution tape spelling “Baalenciaga,” a seeming reference to the Canaanite god Baal, is used. This is a modification of one of Balenciaga’s products, which would seemingly need to be specifically approved by the company.

Balenciaga ad featuring caution tape spelling out “Baalenciaga.” CREDIT: Balenciaga

We’ve also learned more about who the child models were, as one spoke anonymously to Daily Mail last week.

He said Galimberti was ‘innocent’ of any wrongdoing and revealed the models were all children of Balenciaga employees who were at the shoot and had approved the campaign.

Speaking anonymously, he said: ‘I feel desperately sorry for Gabriele, this had nothing directly to do with him and he was merely taking the photographs as requested by Balenciaga. The parents of the children were at the shoot and they approved of what took place.


Children of people who had approved the campaign? Well, that explains a lot. The father added that the children all had a wonderful time and no one thought anything inappropriate was going on.

This controversy is only growing at this time, and in this writer’s opinion the only reason it hasn’t been memory holed is because Elon Musk is at the controls at Twitter.


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