Kim Kardashian of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and her ex-husband Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) have become embroiled in controversy after two Balenciaga ad campaigns have been called out for condoning child exploitation – the luxury fashion house, owned by French Corporation Kering, is known for producing ready-to-wear, footwear, handbags, and accessories.
It is believed that ever since their CEO, Cédric Charbit, took over in November 2016, and Georgian fashion designer Demna Gvasalia popularly known simply as Demna, became the artistic director for the fashion brand in 2015, the brand has garnered negative attention. From dressing up Kim Kardashian in a head-to-toe black body stocking outfit for the Met Gala last year to remaking IKEA’s shopping bag as a luxury item, Balenciaga has become a “lightening rod for controversy”.
Ye (previously known as Kanye West), has been associated with the scandal for having a longstanding working relationship with Denma and Balenciaga. Although, the fashion brand terminated its professional relationship with the American rapper days after shooting for the Balenciaga ‘Gift Shop’ campaign, over remarks deemed anti-Semitic during and after the Paris Fashion Week. Ye reportedly mentioned the controversy while speaking to the paparazzi on November 26. The rapper said, “You don’t see no celebrities talking about the Balenciaga situation”.
On the other hand, speaking with Vogue earlier this year, Kardashian opened up about the concerns she had during her dress selection process for the prestigious annual fundraising gala held for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City, in 2021. Kardashian had said that she “fought against” the decision to cover her face with a mask, questioning the reason behind the need to do so.
Kardashian added that Denma and the team rebutted by saying, “This is a costume gala. This is not a Vanity Fair party where everyone looks beautiful. There’s a theme and you have to wear the mask. That is the look.”
The artistic designer had insisted that the mask was “conceptually speaking” and that people would no doubt recognize the fashion diva by “her silhouette”. Denma had gone as far as to say that this is the “power of her celebrity” and that people can recognize her without even seeing her face.
Kardashian who apart from being a media personality is known as a socialite and businesswoman first gained attention as a stylist and friend of Paris Hilton. However, she soon became one of the most powerful celebrities in the world which led to her association with Balenciaga. She also walked in their couture runway show earlier this year and has often spoken highly of Denma for “helping refashion her personal style” following her divorce from Ye.
After the criticism surrounding Balenciaga’s campaigns mounted, Kardashian made claims that she was looking into “re-evaluating her relationship” with the brand on November 27. At the time, Kardashian had said that as a “mother of four, I have been shaken by the disturbing images”. She had gone on to say “any attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society — period”. Kardashian elaborated that children’s safety should be given the “highest regard”.
The fashion icon had stated that while she appreciates Balenciaga for removing their campaigns and issuing an apology, she is in talks with them and believes, “they understand the seriousness of the issue and will take the necessary measures for this to never happen again”.
As a mother of four, I have been shaken by the disturbing images. The safety of children must be held with the highest regard and any attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society — period.
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) November 27, 2022
Speaking up against the controversial shoots, Kardashian stated that she is “shaken” and “disgusted. However, despite fans urging her to sever ties with the brand for promoting child pornography and abuse, Kardashian is uncertain about parting ways.
Fans have called out the reality star for her association with Balenciaga. One fan has gone as far as to say, “I don’t believe that you’re being sincere at all”. The fan added, “Seems like it’s more about money for you”.
Another fan wrote, “You can’t be that outraged f you’re going to continue to model for them I applaud u for speaking up but the fact that this even happened speaks volumes and so publicly at that. Shame on Balenciaga and anyone who still supports them”.
As for my future with Balenciaga, I am currently re-evaluating my relationship with the brand, basing it off their willingness to accept accountability for something that should have never happened to begin with — & the actions I am expecting to see them take to protect children.
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) November 28, 2022
It is pertinent to note that although previous scandals only bolstered the repute of the brand, as one that defines “the very meaning of “taste””, their latest campaigns have opened Pandora’s box. With one of the campaigns featured pictures of children striking poses with handbags that look like teddy bears – believed to be used as “bondage gear” (you can refer to BDSM for the concept). The other showed featured photos of papers about child pornography laws. The campaigns have led to what is being considered the internet’s most “explicit collisions” with culture, politics, and fashion.
After receiving much flak for its insensitive campaigns, Balenciaga issued a statement admitting that an error had been made and that they were ready to take “responsibility”. The statement came two weeks after the controversial campaigns first came to light and garnered much criticism. In the statement, the fashion brand announced “investigations” both internal and external and declared that they would reach out to “organizations who specialize in child protection”.
Stay tuned to Baaghi TV for more. Download our app for the latest news, updates & interesting content!