Kim Kardashian REFUSES to cut ties with Balenciaga after pedophilia scandal and instead claims she’s ‘re-evaluating’ her relationship with brand after finally breaking silence on BDSM child images: ‘I’ve been shaken by the disturbing images’
- Kardashian, 42, took to Instagram Stories on Sunday with a statement
- She said she was ‘shocked and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns’
- Moments later she strengthened her language to ‘disgusted’
- Kardashian said she is comfortable the company ‘understands the seriousness’
- In an additional post, Kardashian said she was reconsidering her relationship
- The fashion house from Spain is suing ad production company North Six Inc.
- Balenciaga is under fire after publishing photos for their Spring 2023 collection
- The images showed children holding teddy bears with bondage clothing
- The brand, modeled by Kardashian, issued a public apology on Instagram
Kim Kardashian is refusing to cut ties with the fashion house Balenciaga, despite a controversy that saw the company linked to a shoot that placed children alongside BDSM-themed items.
Kardashian, who has been in business with the company for several years spoke out days after it had already apologized for the scandal.
The reality TV star, 42, said that while she was ‘shaken’ and ‘disgusted’ to see the images in the controversial ad campaign, she had wanted to speak with officials at the designer to understand how it came to be.
Clearly embarrassed by their ill-judged campaign, Balenciaga took the drastic step of wiping its social media pages clean.
‘I have been quiet for the past few days, not because I haven’t been shocked and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns, but because I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened,’ the Los Angeles-born celebrity said in a statement on her Instagram page.
She continued: ‘As a mother of four, I have been shaken by those disturbing images. The safety of children must be held with the highest regard and anything against it should have no place in our society – period.’
She subsequently reissued the statement that saw some of the wording changed using stronger language adding: ‘any attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society – period.’
However, on balance, Kardashian said that she is comfortable with how the company reacted to the scandal.
‘I appreciate Balenciaga’s removal of the campaigns and apology. In speaking with them, I believe they understand the seriousness of the issue and will take the necessary measures for this to never happen again.’
In an additional post, to both Instagram and Twitter, Kardashian said she was reconsidering her relationship with the fashion brand but had not yet many any firm decisions.
‘As for my future with Balenciaga, I 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 — & the actions I am expecting to see them take to protect children.’
Kardashian is often seen wearing Balenciaga to major events and has featured in several of the brand’s campaigns in the past.
Essentially the fashion face of the company, Kardashian is Balenciaga’s biggest supporter and the brand’s most famous model, appearing to walk on water in the fashion house’s fall 2022 campaign.
She was famously introduced to Balenciaga Creative Director Demna Gvasalia by her ex, Kanye West with the couple’s daughters also sporting the brand, too, having recently been spotted carrying four-figure bags from the brand.
She acknowledge the role her ex-husband had played in the relationship in December 2021 as she spoke at the People’s Choice Awards where she accepted an award for fashion.
‘To Kanye, for really introducing me to the fashion world,’ she said. ‘I fell in love with fashion and I’m so inspired by so many people. But again, this is like a dream that I get to wake up and wear these amazing clothes and try new things and take a risk. I’m so humbled.’
At the time, Vogue described it as ‘the peak of Kardashian’s Balenciaga moment.’
More recently, on the Season 2 finale of Hulu’s The Kardashians which dropped last week, she seen was chatting with head designer Demna.
During the episode she explained how her relationship with Balenciaga started with West, but that it had evolved throughout the years.
‘Demna is the head designer of Balenciaga. I think the partnership with Balenciaga obviously came from Kanye, but I was just genuinely loving their clothes and wearing them all the time and it was a really organic relationship that happened, and I think those are the best ones.’
‘Every day was a campaign anyway, because that’s what I genuinely love, so the fact that it turned into real ones, and just walking in the show, just means so much,’ Kardashian says in confession.
In July 2022, Kardashian walked the catwalk and modeled for the brand at Paris Fashion Week.
She was seen wearing the brand as recently as last week as she sported a wearing Adidas x Balenciaga collaboration top, two of the designers who dropped her ex West, 45, after his recent anti-Semitic rants.
She wore a top from the two designer’s collaboration, a long-sleeve black shirt with white stripes on the sleeve and the names of the brands placed in the center of the chest.
Fans had been demanding she speak out, flooding her recent posts with calls for her to say something and questions about her relationship with the luxury label.
‘Condemn balenciaga have you seen their ads? You have 4 kids!’ one user wrote in the comments.
‘Would like to see a comment about balenciaga before seeing this. Your silence on this is topic deafening,’ one comment read.
‘I see more comments about you supporting a pedophilic fashion line than people congratulating on your lame thanksgiving. Why don’t you speak up instead of trying to ignore it?’ another commenter wrote.
‘Shine the light on the mistreatment of kids. You are the problem if you don’t speak up,’ added another user.
On Twitter, users appeared skeptical of Kardashian’s statement with many suggesting only a complete the complete cutting of ties from the brand would be appropriate.
‘I don’t believe that you’re being sincere at all. I think you were just hoping that it would blow over. There’s no way that they paid for an ad campaign, didn’t look it over thoroughly before they put it out there. Seems like it’s more about money for you,’ wrote one fan.
‘You can’t be that outraged if you’re going to continue to model for them I applaud u for speaking up but the fact that this even happened speaks volumes and so publicly at that. Shame on balenciaga and anyone who still supports them. Things like this don’t deserve a second chance,’ added another.
‘Coming from a fan of you for many years this isn’t good enough. Now maybe you couldn’t of done anything then but you can now cut ties with balenciaga at least! Ain’t no one forgetting this one there’s no excuse big enough to cover what everyone saw,’ echoed a third.
‘No. They were promoting child sexual abuse. How on EARTH can you say they ‘understand the severity’ and still work with them, especially as a mom?? This shows how sheltered you are. No concept of the impact this has on victims. Disgusting,’ responded one user.
Kardashian’s statement came after the fashion house filed a pair of $25 million lawsuits in connection with the ad campaign against the producers who came up with showing children holding teddy bears in BDSM gear for the promotion of its spring collection.
The fashion house from Spain is suing ad production company North Six Inc., as well as set designer Nicholas Des Jardins and his own brand for including images of legal documents on the US Supreme Court’s decision on child pornography laws in the same ad campaign.
Alleging that North Six and Des Jardins had purposefully included the judicial records in the ad without telling its executives, Balenciaga has described the move as ‘malevolent, or at the very least, extraordinarily reckless’.
The high-end luxury brand is added that it is now looking to ‘redress for extensive damages defendants caused in connection with an advertising campaign Balenciaga hired them to produce,’ read a summons from the Manhattan Supreme Court.
Among the clothing worn by the children’s toys in the ads are fishnet stockings, chokers, string vests and chains leading to many on social media to refer to it as ‘child porn’ and ‘disturbing.’
Perhaps the most shocking image is that of a document from a previous advertisement, pictured close to a child and tucked under a purse, the 2008 Supreme Court ruling United States v Williams which examined if laws against the promotion of child pornography were in violation of the first amendment.
The ruling determined that offering or requesting to transfer, sell, deliver, or trade child pornography did not violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, even if a person charged under the code did not in fact possess child pornography with which to trade.
The late Justice Antonin Scalia noted specifically that offers to engage in illegal transactions are categorically excluded from First Amendment protection.
‘As a result of Defendants’ misconduct, members of the public, including the news media, have falsely and horrifically associated Balenciaga with the repulsive and deeply disturbing subject of the court decision,’ court documents reveal.
‘Defendants are liable to Balenciaga for all harm resulting from this false association.’
Ads were initially released over Paris Fashion Week at the end of September, start of October and were intended to boost the fashion house’s spring 2023 collection.
On Tuesday, Balenciaga publicly apologized and announced that it will be swiping off the ad from all of its social media profiles.
‘We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused. Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms,’ the high-end luxury house shared on Instagram.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Balenciaga for comment on the lawsuit.
Earlier this month, the Paris-based company said that its controversial ad ‘iterates on the artist’s series Toy Stories, an exploration of what people collect and receive as gifts,’ according to a press release.
It went on to say that it would feature ‘dozens of new products ranging from homeware, pet wear and scent, from everyday items to limited-edition collectibles and bespoke furniture.’
Some of the pictures were shot by Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti, who is perhaps best known for his work with National Geographic. On his Instagram page, Galimberti issued an apology saying that he was not in creative control of the shoot and merely was in charge of lighting.
He said: ‘I am not in a position to comment [on] Balenciaga’s choices, but I must stress that I was not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose (sic) the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same.’
Galimberti continued: ‘As a photographer, I was only and solely requested to lit (sic) the given scene, and take the shots according to my signature style.
‘As usual, the direction of the campaign and of the shooting are not on the hands of the photographer.’
He concluded: ‘I suspect that any person prone to pedophilia searches on the web and has unfortunately a too easy access to images completely different than mine, absolutely explicit in their awful content. Lynching like these are addressed against wrong targets, and distract from the real problem, and criminals.’
Galimberti also said that he had nothing to do with the photos of the Supreme Court documents.
Meanwhile, the father of a British child model who posed in the campaign has defended the photoshoot, previously telling DailyMail.com that his daughter had a ‘fantastic time’ on set.
Balenciaga is typically associated with A-list celebrities such as Kim Kardashian but in the fallout from this most recent scandal, model Bella Hadid deleted an Instagram post promoting the brand, but has left several others up that promote Balenciaga.
Balenciaga was founded by Spanish monarchist Cristobal Balenciaga in 1991. The current creative director of the brand is Georgia native Demna Gvasalia.
Source: Daily Mail