Balenciaga is dealing with the fallout of a major fashion faux pas.
“We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent to include it in our narrative,” the company said in a Nov. 28 statement. “The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility.”
The statement acknowledged that the first campaign, a gift collection campaign, featured children with plush bear bags dressed in what appeared to be BDSM-inspired outfits.
“Our plush bear bags and the gift collection should have not been featured with children,” the statement continued. “This was a wrong choice by Balenciaga, combined with our failure in assessing and validating images. The responsibility for this lies with Balenciaga alone.”
The fashion company also addressed the second campaign for its Spring 2023 collection, which according to the brand, was meant to replicate a “business office environment,” and included a photo with a page in the background from a 2008 Supreme Court ruling which confirms the promotion of child pornography is illegal and not protected by freedom of speech.