Child Exploitation Within Balenciaga


Alexander Weiss, Staff Writer

**TRIGGER WARNING** This article mentions topics such as pornography and pedophilia. If you are sensitive to those topics, this may not be the article for you.

On November 21, 2022, Balenciaga released an ad for their 2022 holiday campaign. This ad contained children holding teddy bears wearing BDSM, a sexual practice, bondage costumes which are items used in such practice. The brand has already come out with an apology for the ad and is trying to take the blame off of themselves with a lawsuit against the production company.

The luxury brand isn’t just experiencing backlash from the ads, but from how they put bondage on the runway of their Paris Fashion Week. People freaked out at the fact that it wasn’t one time and they obviously thought it was a good idea. Cancel culture and social media got their hands on the matter and started a new trending hashtag, #CANCELBALENCIAGA. Behind this hashtag comes a force of social media users across TikTok and Twitter, accusing the head creative director of allowing pedophilia. The brand and its reputation are on a steady decrease and they can not seem to handle all of the backlash.

The brand is trying to sue production company North Six, Inc, Nicholas Des Jardins who was the set designer, and his company for putting legal documents from a decision the supreme court made about child pornography. According to the New York Post Balenciaga has filed a $25 million suit over a controversial ad amid the ‘BDSM teddy bear’ backlash article. The brand claims that the production company,  North Six, Inc, put the documents in the ad without Balenciaga knowing. But the brand is not choosing to pick any small number for the amount they are suing for Balenciaga is suing them for $25 million for damages made.

Following all of the backlash, Balenciaga released an extensive apology on Instagram. The brand took full responsibility for the inappropriate documents and images. In their apology, they stated that “The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility” according to Newsweek in their “Balenciaga Issues ‘Sincere Apologies’ for Ad Campaign: Read Full Statement” article, people did not accept the brand’s apology when they made it and still do not now. All over social media, their apology is being mocked and trashed because of what the brand posted. With all of the drama, the brand is still holding itself to taking responsibility for the disgusting things they used for a seasonal collection.