Kim Kardashian has issued a statement in the wake of a controversy involving the fashion house Balenciaga, who she’s been in business with for years, after the company was linked to a fashion shoot placing children alongside BDSM-themed items.
The reality star, 42, said that while she was ‘shaken’ to see the images in the controversial ad campaign, she wanted to speak with officials at the designer to understand how it came to be.
‘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.
The latest: Kim Kardashian, 42, has issued a statement in the wake of a controversy involving the fashion house Balenciaga , who she’s been in business with for years, after the company was linked to a fashion shoot placing children alongside BDSM-themed items. Pictured earlier this month in LA
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.’
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.’
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.
Kim initially issued a statement on her Instagram Stories account
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.
Fashion brand Balenciaga is suing the producers of an ad campaign that many believe translates to child pornography, with a child holding a teddy bear dressed in a BDSM outfit
North Six – a worldwide production company tailored to ads – is being sued by Balenciaga in a $25million lawsuit along with model photographer, Nicholas Des Jardins. Pictured: North Six’s company logo
One of the ad’s photos contained an excerpt from the US Supreme Court opinion in United States v. Williams, which upheld part of a federal child pornography law, which Twitter’s own fact-checkers confirmed
Balenciaga, which is popular with A-list celebrities including the likes of Kim Kardashian – has deleted two shocking images showing two young girls holding a teddy bear in bondage style gear on the gift shop section of its website
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.
As of last week, Balenciaga did not only delete all of its posts related to ads for its Spring 2023 collection on Instagram but also wiped out its entire page
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.
Balenciaga issued a public apology on its Instagram profile last week, before deleting its social media history
Prior to the lawsuit, the brand had previously stated that it will pursue legal action against those found to be responsible for the scandal surrounding the controversial ad
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.’
Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti, who worked on the photoshoot featuring the BDSM teddy bears, stressed that he wasn’t ‘entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose (sic) the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same’
Galimberti promoted the images as part of a project series he called ‘Toy Stories,’ in an apparent reference to the Disney/Pixar film series
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.
In 2001, the company, which quotes annual revenues of nearly two billion, was acquired by Kering from Gucci.