Are You Still Wearing Balenciaga? Fashion Brand Comes Under Fire for Sexualizing Children in Ads; Kim Kardashian Speaks Out

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Balenciaga, arguably one of the most popular brands of our time thanks to its affiliation with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, recently came under fire for their holiday campaign. The seemingly innocuous ads feature children holding teddy bears sporting bondage gear.

Also in the campaign: a Balenciaga bag perched upon documents, one of which features a case that struck down a law against child pornography.

Interestingly, Tucker Carlson of Fox News was the first to report on this.

There’s no excuse for this. With a brand that massive, with all of its resources and the many clearances images must go through, the message seems purposeful. Make no mistake, there is a whole underbelly of Hollywood and the entertainment industry that embraces pedophilia, and someone at Balenciaga appears to be one of them. But this behavior is criminal and should never have made it to their website. Of course they apologized with an Instastory (which is deleted after 24 hours).

Later on the bustling brand, with 14 million followers on Instagram, deleted all of its photos and seems to have gone ghost.

Even the company’s main brand ambassador, Kim Kardashian, felt the pressure to speak out. She said (in a temporary Instastory), “I have been quiet for the past few days, not because I haven’t been disgusted and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns, but because | wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened. As a mother of four, I have been shaken by the disturbing images. The safety of children must be held with the highest regard and any attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society – period. As for my future with Balenciaga, | am currently re-evaluating my relationship with the brand, basing it off their willingness to accept accountability for something that should have never happened to begin with – and the actions I am expecting to see them take to protect children.”

While Kim contemplates how to wiggle out of an undoubtedly multiyear contract with the now maligned fashion house, some consumers are asking: can we still wear Balenciaga?

When we get dressed everyday, we don’t always think about the ‘meaning’ of our clothing. We dress according to our moods, slipping on colors and silhouettes that make us feel confident and appropriate for whatever we plan to conquer for the day. As social media has risen, consumers have also become more aware of the ethos of a brand and what it stands for. Some will more readily wear a brand because their favorite celebrity or influencer promotes it; others will wear a line because they like or identify with the owner. While many still simply wear what they like, it’s going to be increasingly hard for brands, even the ones with the most alluring aesthetics, to have questionable morals and still maintain their customer bases.

With a plethora of choices, we can now make informed decisions about how and where we spend our money or what brands we endorse by simply putting them on.

I personally have dedicated my career to making a positive change in the fashion industry, wearing emerging brands that I believe in with diverse founders. I even created a marketplace called that promotes young multicultural designers. We don’t get the same resources or support as brands like Balenciaga just yet, but perhaps as consumers become more savvy, the support will follow.

We know for many it’s ‘not that deep’ but it’s increasingly hard to look away and wear whatever you like when the ugly truth about a brand is staring you right in your face.

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