The Balenciaga controversy seems to be the last great chapter of cancelation culture, although the Spanish-born fashion house continues to fight to ride the wave. He doesn’t have it easy. From children holding teddy bears dressed in common objects in sadomasochistic practices, he escalated to hidden details on the set of some of his campaigns that alluded to pornography and child abuse.
From there (and without the brand being able to give a clear explanation of what happened) to the birth of a new conspiracy theory, there was only one step and collective madness broke out on TikTok overanalyzing the instagrams of two collaborators of the house. Now, after Demna Gvasalia’s personal apologies, Balenciaga announces a batch of compensatory measures.
As Kim Kardashian, Balenciaga’s biggest ambassador, claims to be “re-evaluating” her relationship with Balenciaga, the creative mind behind the fashion house has issued a personal apology. Thus, Demna Gvasalia has assumed, in a statement published on her Instagram account, your share of responsibility:
“It was inappropriate to make children promote objects that have nothing to do with them.” In the same way, the Georgian designer declared that he needed to “learn from this, listen and engage with child protection organizations to know how I can contribute and help in this terrible issue”.
Although the firm was the first to react by withdrawing the campaign, emptying its content networks and apologizing, it has now issued a new statement again. signed by its president, Cédric Charbit in which he affirms that the brand wants to learn from its mistakes and proceeds to explain the measures it will take so that something like this does not happen again.
The text is divided into several blocks of measures that begin with New control measures: “Our content validation process has failed, and we recognize the need to do better”. For this they have created a new position: “We appoint with immediate effect an Image Council responsible for evaluating the nature of our content from concept to the resulting assets, including legal, sustainability and diversity knowledge.”
This internally because externally they say they have appointed a “top-notch agency” to evaluate their content”. Some changes to which another is added: “We have reorganized our Image Department to guarantee full alignment with our corporate guidelines”. Likewise, they have decided “not to continue with the litigation” and not to sue the producer of the campaigns as they had announced at first.
In the next block, called Learn and Contributeexplain how they will make the consequences work for the entire company: “We want to learn, help and contribute to protecting children. We are starting to provide training on responsible communication in all our teams. Together with my team, we will carry out a listening tour to engage with children’s rights groups.
In addition, Charbit explained that they have set aside an “important” fund for donations to organizations, “so that we can help make a difference in child protection“Now it only remains to be seen if the measures taken from the management serve to appease the fire of a controversy that has led users of social networks to show how they burn or throw away their signature garments in protest under the hashtag #BoycottBalenciaga and #CancelBalenciaga.
Cover photo | Balenciaga