Balenciaga’s infamous ad that featured children with teddy bears in bondage has definitely landed the brand, the designers, and the people involved in the shoot in deep waters.
Demna Gvaslia, popular designer and Balenciaga's creative director since 2015, has especially come under scrutiny, as many celebrities and top people from the fashion industry claim that he is failing to take “real responsibility” for the whole campaign.
While many questioned how this campaign did not look odd to anyone involved in the shoot, others also talked about Demna Gvaslia’s role in the shoot and how he never raised his voice against the idea. Many celebrities, netizens, and people from the fashion industry claim that Demna might have had information about the shoot and how it was being conducted.
However, a fashion insider who has worked in the industry for about 35 years, has now spoken out and cleared the picture by claiming how it is “ridiculous” to even think that Demna did not know what the campaign is or how it is being portrayed. The insider also claimed:
“He’s gotten too big for his britches the way a lot of them have. All these creative directors think they can walk on water and can do no wrong. No one says boo to them. They’re too scared. Now, this guy is dragging the house down. It was one of the most elegant in the business but now he has Balenciaga bringing out leather trash bags.”
Fashion insiders claim that Demna had extensive knowledge about the Balenciaga photoshoot
The New York Times reported that the Paris-based insider completely dismissed the idea that Demna Gvaslia was unaware of the photoshoot, and instead emphasized that the designer was the key person involved. The insider further claimed that not even a social media image gets posted unless it is approved by Demna.
Moreover, Olga Liriano, a top magazine editor, also came out and said:
“Oh, please. Demna doesn’t put out one image that he hasn’t approved. Demna is not only the creative director, he’s driving all the imagery behind the campaigns. To blame a production company is nuts.”
In a way, the insiders' revelations have raised questions about why the production company is being blamed for something that the company's creative director approved.
Balenciaga sues production company involved in photoshoot, issues apology
Following the backlash, North Six, the production company for the shoot, was slammed with a $25 million lawsuit by Balenciaga.
At the same time, Demna also took to Instagram a week back to apologize on the brand’s behalf. In a series of posts, he said:
“We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused. Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in the campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms.”
Furthermore, several celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, who has collaborated with Balenciaga a number of times, criticized the shoot, and condemned the act of including kids with teddy bears in bondage in the advertisement.