Balenciaga: sorry for holiday ads of children holding teddy bears in bondage gear

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Balenciaga has apologized after the fashion label was accused of sexualizing children in its advertising.

The label removed photos showing children holding teddy bears that were dressed in what appeared to be bondage clothing after the images sparked outrage on social media. As of Tuesday night, Balenciaga was still trending on the subject of fashion on Twitter.

“We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused,” the Kering SA-owned brand said on its official Instagram account. “Our teddy bear bags should not have appeared with children,” she said, adding that the ads have been removed from all platforms.

Balenciaga has also apologized for showing “disturbing documents” in the campaign after one of the photos appeared to show an excerpt from a court ruling related to child pornography. The company said it is “taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved elements” for its spring 2023 photo shoot.

“We strongly condemn child abuse in any form. We stand up for the safety and well-being of children,” she added.

Balenciaga named one-name designer Demna Art Director in 2015. Under his creative leadership, the brand’s popularity skyrocketed when he released sneakers like the Triple S, instantly noticeable for their oversized size. The brand also became recognizable for its aesthetic that features models wearing sunglasses at night, black hoodies, and broad-shouldered jackets.

The latest campaign, currently showing on her Instagram account, features model Bella Hadid, actresses Nicole Kidman and Isabelle Huppert in an office setting. The brand frequently deletes photos from its account and replaces them with new ones.

Although Kering doesn’t break out Balenciaga’s annual revenue, HSBC estimates it generated about 1.76 billion euros ($1.81 billion) in sales in 2021, according to its April report. report. Kering’s biggest brand, Gucci, earned 9.73 billion euros in the same period, according to its annual results.

The controversy comes during the holiday shopping season, a crucial time for fashion brands. Balenciaga also did Headlines earlier this month after leaving Twitter.

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