The Opinion of Freedoms

The Balenciaga case: apologies from Demna Gvasalia

Demna Gvasalia backtracks. “It was a wrong artistic choice.” The Georgian fashion designerwho took over the reins of the maison in 2015 Balenciaga becoming its creative director, for days he has been at the center of a bitter controversy for the promotion of a series of advertising campaigns from BDSM flavor who exploit sexually the image of children. Gvasalia admitted: “It was not appropriate to have children in photos promoting items that have nothing to do with them.” The designer, who revived Balenciaga’s popularity with provocations and street fashion, has decided to apologize publicly.

The pictures of the scandal, in which children were holding hands Teddy bears with fetish harnesses as in some bags designed by Balenciaga, they have been withdrawn from circulation. Demna added that she will work with child protection organizations “to help with the terrible issue” of sexual exploitation of children. To complicate the situation, she had stepped in with a straight leg Kanye West: despite being dropped in October by the fashion house for his anti-Semitic outbursts, the rapper and stylist Kim Kardashian’s ex-husband had defended on Twitter the stylist with whom in the past he has been the protagonist of numerous collaborations, the latest with Paris Fashion Week. “I stand by Balenciaga and denounce any witch hunt. Child trafficking neither begins nor ends with a fashion campaign. Never turn our backs on Demna and the Balenciaga family for life. Delete the cancel culture”.

The utterances of the rapper, who in a third message admitted that his addiction to pornography had “ruined his family”, were then interrupted when, after posting a tweet with a swastika inside a star of David, the new owner of the microblogging site Elon Musk, suspended his profile. Kanye was the only voice so far openly defending Balenciaga. In recent days she had taken sides against ex-wife Kim Kardashian, one of Demna’s muses, announcing that she would “revisit her relationship with the brand”. The influencer then moved from words to deeds, refusing to participate, according to Tmzto a new promotional campaign and sending back some Balenciaga pieces that he was supposed to wear at upcoming events.

In the meantime, come on TikTok some customers have posted videos of them destroying Balenciaga clothes, bags and shoes in protest. Instead, she remained silent Nicole Kidman. Not even a week ago the actress posted on Instagram a photo of her wearing a black leather trench coat from the Balenciaga spring 2023 collection and the pressure from fans who have filled her social profile with negative comments have not yet led her to distance herself. Silence also from Salma Hayek and her husband Francois-Henri PinaultCEO of Kering, La parent company which owns the fashion house.

As he writes Andrea Batilla on Tomorrow“from this umpteenth media storm involving the fashion world one can derive at least a couple of lessons. The first is that what can and cannot be said publicly, inside or outside a commercial initiative, is often established by moods of the indistinct mass of social media users many times led by trolls, i.e. characters who intentionally increase the level of conflict without there being a real reason. When the media wave reaches unmanageable proportions, people’s thinking goes almost unilaterally in that direction and it no longer seems possible to oppose it, indeed it seems a dangerous, not to say deadly, undertaking. The second question concerns how much it is possible to use a global commercial project like Balenciaga to pass social or political messages sometimes highly divisive”.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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