Balenciaga’s Creative Director Demna Breaks Silence on "Inappropriate" Ad Campaign

Demna apologized on Instagram after backlash from Balenciaga's recent ad campaigns that involved children. The Georgian fashion designer also vowed to “engage with child protection organizations."

By Alexandra Bellusci Dec 02, 2022 7:28 PMTags
Watch: Balenciaga's Demna Gvasalia Apologizes for "Inappropriate" Campaign

Demna is holding himself accountable.

Following the continued backlash surrounding Balenciaga's recent campaign, which featured children photographed with what appeared to be BDSM-inspired teddy bears, the luxury brand's creative director issued an apology on social media.

"I want to personally apologize for the wrong artistic choice of concept for the gifting campaign with the kids and I take my responsibility," Demna wrote in the Dec 2 post. "It was inappropriate to have kids promote objects that had nothing to do with them." 

The designer added despite striving to "provoke thought" through his work with Balenciaga, he would never intentionally create art around child abuse.

"I need to learn from this, listen and engage with child protection organizations to know how I can contribute and help on this terrible subject," the 41-year-old continued. "I apologize to anyone offended by the visuals and Balenciaga has guaranteed that adequate measures will be taken not only to avoid similar mistakes in the future but also to take accountability in protecting child welfare in every way we can."

Kim Kardashian REACTS to Balenciaga's Controversial Ad

Demna followed up his apology by sharing a statement from Balenciaga's chief executive officer Cédric Charbit, which detailed a series of actions the brand will take to learn from the incident. Among the points in his note, Cédric stated that the company has decided to not pursue its lawsuit against the campaign's production company North Six Inc. as well as its agent and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins. A representative for North Six declined comment on the summons.

Demna and Cedric's apologies comes on the heels of the fashion house deleting the images from its Instagram account and releasing a statement apologizing for the images the same day. On Nov. 28, they issued a second apology.

"We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent to include it in our narrative," the company said in the statement. "The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility."


Since the controversy erupted, several celebrities have spoken out against the company on social media, including Brittany Aldean, Bachelor Nation's Lauren Burnham and Arie Luyendyk Jr, and Lala Kent.

Kim Kardashian, who has frequently partnered with the brand throughout the years, has also spoken out, expressing her shock over the photographs.

"I have been quiet 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," she wrote on her Instagram Stories Nov. 27. "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." 

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