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The 'Balenciaga' scandal, the artistic director reacts for the first time: It was inappropriate to promote through children
After weeks of silence, the artistic director of Balenciaga, Demna, has finally addressed the advertising scandal involving children in bondage clothing and the accusations of normalizing sexual fetishization and child abuse.
The Georgian designer posted a lengthy statement on Instagram, pledging to "engage with child protection organizations."
"I want to apologize personally for the wrong artistic choice of the concept for the gift campaign with children and take my responsibility. It was inappropriate for children to promote objects that had nothing to do with them. As much as I would sometimes like to provoke thought through my work, I would NEVER intend to do so with such a horrific subject as the child abuse that I condemn. I need to learn from this, listen and engage with child protection organizations to know how I can contribute and help on this terrible topic. I apologize to anyone who was offended by the visuals and Balenciaga has assured that appropriate measures will be taken not only to avoid similar mistakes in the future,he wrote.
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Last week, the French fashion house owned by Kering issued a statement along with a lawsuit against the production company responsible for some of the images. The fashion label came under fire after running an ad campaign featuring young children modeling what appear to be teddy bears dressed in bondage gear. Meanwhile, another ad showed legal documents from a Supreme Court case that ruled on federal child pornography laws.
The fashion house has since apologized, removed the ads and promised an internal investigation. It also filed a $25 million lawsuit against the producers of one of the ads.