Kim Kardashian ‘re-evaluating’ Balenciaga relationship after recent ad campaign

The reality star, 42, said she was ‘shaken by the disturbing images’ used in a recent campaign by the fashion house.
Kim Kardashian ‘re-evaluating’ Balenciaga relationship after recent ad campaign

By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Kim Kardashian says she is “re-evaluating my relationship” with Balenciaga, following online backlash from a recent campaign by the fashion house.

The reality star, 42, said she was “shaken by the disturbing images” used in the campaign, which showed two young children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage clothing.

The images, which emerged several days ago, have since been taken down by Balenciaga, with the company apologising for offence caused in its own Instagram story post.

Kim Kardashian attending The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala 2017, in New York, USA
Kim Kardashian said she was ‘shaken by the disturbing images’ used in a recent campaign by the fashion house (Aurore Marechal/PA Archive)

The ads appeared to show two young girls, both holding the stuffed animals, which were dressed in leather and netted clothing, and surrounded by an assortment of other items.

One photo also showed what appeared to be an excerpt from “unsettling” US Supreme Court documents.

Kardashian said she had remained silent in the days since the campaign was first posted online because she wanted to speak with the brand to “understand for myself how this could have happened”.

“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 I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened,” she wrote online.

“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.”

She continued: “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.

“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 and her ex-partner Kanye West are known for their links to Balenciaga, and recently walked her first Paris couture show with the brand, describing it as “a dream come true”.

The controversy comes following reports that the fashion house has cut its ties with West amid the ongoing fallout from antisemitic remarks made online by the US rapper.

In its own Instagram story Balenciaga wrote: “We sincerely apologise 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.”

Appearing to refer to the document excerpts, it added: “We apologise for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign.

“We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot.

“We strongly condemn abuse of children in any form. We stand for children’s safety and wellbeing.”

Balenciaga has been contacted for comment over Kardashian’s statements.

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