High Fashion and Parenting

Balenciaga faces great criticism after newest ad campaign.



High Fashion brand is criticized after ad campaign

Laura Escovedo, Writer

Balenciaga’s new ad campaign containing controversial portraits of children is now receiving various hate comments on social media and being heavily criticized by parents.

The new ad campaign included pictures of children holding the brand’s new product, a handbag that looked like a teddy bear in bondage gear. The line also had another campaign that featured photos that include paperwork about child pornography laws. These two events created much controversy online and at school about the brand.

“I think the ad campaign was in incredibly poor taste and really insensitive.  Although Balenciaga has issued an apology, it did not satisfy me.  I am not sure how the ad got as far as to be created, and I would have like them to have addressed this,” Art teacher Kerri Murphy said. “I know they like to be edgy, and it seems like a couple people would have to have been aware of this happening.  I would have liked them to be more transparent since exploiting children’s sexuality and child sex trafficking are such serious issues.  The way they just made a standard issued politically correct apology just didn’t seem genuine to me.”

The comments traveled across social media and followers were expecting an announcement from the brand and its supporters. The Fashion House issued a statement of apology admitting the various errors that have been made. The two major positions  of the company, the designer Demna and chief executive Cedric Charbit, issued two separate statements on Instagram  apologizing once again. Also declared that the brand reached out to organizations who specialize in protecting children from abuse and violation.

“I think they are over hyped, and their choices lately are unacceptable. They should have all walks of life review their ideas before putting them out just to make a buck. I believe that the brand should be done with. Clothing is clothing. I am not a huge brand person. I like clothes but do not care about how much they cost. Exploiting children is never okay and they went too far. Everyone seems to be brushing their actions under the rug,” Alumna Ashley Sancez  said.

The fallout began when the brand released the campaign, Balenciaga gift-shop, on Nov.16, the photographs featured six children holding teddy bears handbags. The fluffy bears had black eyes, fishnet tops and leather harnesses; wine glasses and other gift items were displayed around them, all of which were chosen by Balenciaga.

“I respect the brand’s contributions to fashion history. I feel it is an attempt to draw attention to the brand through creating a scandal.  I am absolutely disgusted. I searched up the story and saw the pictures from the campaign. Using children for a campaign like that is absolutely horrific, abusive, completely inappropriate and definitely not art, they should take responsibility for their poor choices and inappropriate and offensive campaigns. I think they have hit rock bottom in regard to the quality of their products and design concepts. I think this will be reflected in their sales and overall popularity,” Art teacher Rachel Walsh stated.

One of the biggest supporters of the brand Kim Kardashian, declared she was  reevaluating her  relationship with the brand after receiving several hate comments and starting to lose followers for not making a comment sooner, the fans were very impressed with the time that the influencer took to speak out , because she is a mother of four and has said before to put her children safety first. She also said that is to be appreciated the brands apology and removal of the campaign due to that some believe that her relationship with the brand shall not affect her image or her work in any way.

“I do love watching the Kardashians and I’ve  always been a big fan of Kanye’s music.  I would not unfollow them because of the Balenciaga ad. Their relationship and the reason for it to continue isn’t really any of my business, nor is it anything I know about. There are lots of different reasons people support others after they have made mistakes. Personally, I will not have a relationship with Balenciaga, as far as buying their product. But to be completely fair, I think their products are overpriced. I can buy clothing and accessories much cheaper that are of the same quality, and I could use the money I saved to help make the world a better place,” Murphy  said.

The outraged reaction of the public is not extremely surprising  when it comes to this kind of portrait involving children, many parents around the world were terribly upset and unhappy with the brand. Some parents claim this situation to be an attempt to normalize child abuse, however, the kids’ parents in the pictures have not spoken out about this scandal.

“As a mother I feel like the brand should be shut down due to their actions. If that was a regular person doing it that would happen to them right away. These celebrities and companies feel that because they have money, they have the power to do whatever they want with no repercussions. As I said before I am not boujie and could care less about brand name clothing. I have seen other mothers in videos of people who have money and can afford brands like Balenciaga start to burn their clothing and shoes they bought from their company to make a stand against them and that’s very empowering. Children shouldn’t be put in a situation like that ever. I honestly feel bad for the children used in their campaign. Their parents and Balenciaga failed them,” Sancez said.