The creative director of Balenciaga, Demna, has apologized publicly for one of the company’s most recent ad campaigns that showed young children holding fetish-dressed teddy bears.
The campaign, which Gabriele Galimberti shot, was meant to promote a variety of new products from the Balenciaga Gift Shop.
It featured images of young children dressed in pieces from the Balenciaga Kids line. The plush bear bags, meanwhile, had been featured as accessories in Balenciaga’s Spring-Summer 2023 ready-to-wear show.
However, many criticized the photos, arguing the bags were inappropriate for children.
“I want to personally apologize for the wrong artistic choice of concept for the gifting campaign with the kids; and I take my responsibility,” Demna, who goes by his first name only, wrote in an Instagram statement Friday. “It was inappropriate to have kids promote objects that had nothing to do with them.”
Demna’s statement continued, “As much as I would sometimes like to provoke a thought through my work, I would NEVER have an intention to do that with such an awful subject as child abuse that I condemn.”
He added that he is committed to working with “child protection organizations” moving forward.
Meanwhile, many celebrities have spoken out against it. Brittany Aldean took a public stand against Balenciaga amid the brand’s ad campaign scandal.
The 34-year-old shared a photo of herself hauling out clear plastic bags filled with Balenciaga clothing, handbags and shoes.
Kim Kardashian, who is a brand ambassador for Balenciaga, also issued a statement in which she said she was “re-evaluating” her relationship with the fashion house.