Balenciaga faced some serious backlash from social media users over their new holiday ad campaign. At the brand, children carried their high-fashion bear bags, in which the teddy bear was dressed in bondage clothes. Most of Balenciaga’s critics deemed it “inappropriate,” complaining that the ad was “too sexualized.”
In a statement, the high-end brand apologized for the ad. They stated that they should never have used children in their campaign and let it be known that they had removed the ads from all locations where they could be seen. The brand announced that the campaign would be discontinued with immediate effect.
Earlier, the luxury fashion house threatened to sue photographer Gabriele Galimberti over the same controversy. As soon as Balenciaga made his statement, the campaign’s photographer, National Geographic’s Gabriele Galimberti, took to Instagram to acknowledge and distance herself from the criticism. “I feel compelled to make this statement after the hundreds of hate mails and messages I’ve received in response to the photos I shot for the Balenciaga campaign,” he began.
Galimberti further said in his statement that he is not in a position to comment on the brand’s choice of the shoot’s theme, continuing: “I must emphasize that I had no right in any way to neither the models nor the combination thereof.” He also emphasized the fact that as a photographer all he had to do was shoot the shots according to his signature style.
Many observant social media users also noted that a document from the US Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, which maintained virtual child pornography, was shown in a still image of the brand’s bag on a desk.
Galimberti also pointed out that he has no connection whatsoever with the photo in which a Supreme Court document appears. He also says this photo was “falsely associated” with his photos.
Further statements from the company stated that it opposes child abuse and child pornography. They stated that they only want to promote the safety and well-being of children and had no intention of hurting anyone’s feelings.
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