The creative director of Balenciaga recently spoke out about the controversial ad campaigns released last year, with one featuring images of children posing with bears wearing what resembled bondage and the other containing a Supreme Court document on a sensitive topic.
Although Balenciaga’s team removed all of the campaign images, the damage was irreparable, with outrage on social media and people requesting that the brand be boycotted and cancelled.
Demna posted an official apology on Instagram in December last year and recently spoke to Vogue in an interview where he opened up about the previous campaign and his creative visions.
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“I realise that my work has been seen as provocative, but this specific situation would never be part of my, you know, provocative nature.”-Demna
Demna clarified that he selected photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s work because he liked his past work.
There was a requirement to combine various products, gifts, and concepts into the campaign, so Demna mentioned they decided to do just that instead of shooting the products individually.
“That was my big mistake. I didn’t realize how inappropriate it would be to put these objects [in the image] and still have the kid in the middle. It unfortunately was the wrong idea and a bad decision from me. We should not have featured kids in images that included objects that were not related and inappropriate to them.”
“No one, myself included, raised a question of it being inappropriate. There were control processes in place, people involved—internal and external—but we just did not spot what was problematic. This was an error of judgment. I regret this a lot. We learned from this now and there are going to be closer and more attentive checks and validation steps applied before any image goes out. For this I want to say I am sorry; I sincerely apologize for what happened and to anyone who has been hurt by it.”–Demna
Celebrity Response To Balenciaga Controversy
Celebrities spoke out and distanced themselves from the brand due to the campaign. Euphoria actress Alexa Demie removed all her Balenciaga-related posts and unfollowed the brand on Instagram, while Kim Kardashian stated that she was re-evaluating her relationship with the luxury fashion house Balenciaga.
Visit Vogue’s website for the full interview.