A wide public outcry arose around the scandalous advertising of the Balenciaga haute couture house.
Ugly skeletons hang in the closet of the glamorous fashion world. Karl Lagerfeld, the late designer of Chanel, Fendi and his own label, once called fashion “ephemeral, dangerous and unfairly abused.” And he was not mistaken: the fashion world is an industry replete with “brinkmanship” (what is decent and what is not) and other, sometimes unethical methods of work.
Lagerfeld was a lightning rod for controversy, often himself provoking an ambiguous attitude towards his “creations”. Other leading fashion houses, as it turned out, are ready to follow his path. For years, clothing and luxury brands have tried to challenge and push creative (and ethical) boundaries, with mixed results. Sometimes couturiers create art that seems transcendent, but often overdo it.
Balenciaga’s new children’s clothing ad is one such example. The luxury brand has come under fire for an ad featuring children holding teddy bears equipped with what appear to be BDSM bondage accessories. Balenciaga spokeswoman Kim Kardashian said on Twitter that as a mother of four, she is “shocked by the hard shots” and is now determined to reevaluate her relationship with the brand. “Children’s safety must be a top priority and any attempt to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society – period,” she wrote.
This week Balenciaga apologized on your Instagram account. “We strongly condemn child abuse, we never thought that advertising could be interpreted in such a way,” the haute couture fashion house said in a statement. The brand also stated that it regrets “what happened,” and for good reason. Legal documents are already being considered, and there is a link, including to the Supreme Court case on the child pornography law.
Thus, Balenciaga decided to sue North Six, the production company behind the “baby tinkering” (read: ads), for $25 million in damages.
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