Balenciaga high-end retailers keep quiet about controversial ad depicting children in captivity with teddy bears

Department stores and online retailers have been quiet about the fallout surrounding the controversy over a Balenciaga ad campaign featuring children dressed in BDSM outfits holding teddy bear purses.

Bergdorf Goodman and parent company Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and retailers such as Net-A-Porter did not talk about the issue and did not answer questions from Fox News Digital, despite selling Balenciaga products in their stores. Whether they approve of campaigns that feature children with teddy bears in bondage-style clothing and contain Supreme Court documents on child pornography.

None of the retailers responded to additional questions about whether they plan to cut patterns with Balenciaga through the ad or support minors to appear in ads in bondage-style apparel.

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The first of the controversial ads, Balenciaga’s “Gift Shop” campaign, aired earlier this month and featured children in mesh tops and leather harnesses holding bags made of teddy bears. Wine glasses, chains and sunglasses were also displayed around the children.

A woman walks past a superimposed Balenciaga store on Madison Avenue, New York, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) ( (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) / AP Newsroom)

Social media backlash against the brand prompted critics to investigate other Balenciaga ads and saw the 2023 “Garde Robe” campaign featuring celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Bella Hadid included paperwork from the 2008 Supreme Court case regarding child pornography.

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After a social media storm in which critics accused the brand of sexualizing children and normalizing child pornography, Balenciaga issued an apology on social media and deleted all other posts.

“We strongly condemn child abuse; we did not intend to include it in our story,” the statement said. “The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grave mistakes for which Balenciaga takes responsibility.”

Balenciaga also noted that bear-shaped purses “should not be given with children” and claimed the brand was “strongly condemned”.[s] child abuse.”

balenciaga store

A Balenciaga store. (iStock / iStock)

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Retailers aren’t the only ones keeping quiet about the debate. Balenciaga’s parent company, Kering, along with the other major fashion brands under it, has not been silent. Kering, who tweeted several times a day before the controversy broke out, hasn’t tweeted since November 20.

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Kim Kardashian, the face of Balenciaga, said she appreciated the brand’s apology, stating that she was “shaken by the disturbing images”. She also said she is “re-evaluating” her relationship with the brand.

“I’ve been quiet for the past few days, not because I’m disgusted or outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns, but because I wanted the opportunity to talk to their team to understand for myself how this could happen,” Kardashian said. tweeted in a long Twitter thread.

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