Kim Kardashian broke her silence amid Balenciaga’s controversial campaign that featured children posing with BDSM-inspired teddy bear purses and included a print out of a child pornography court ruling.
“I have been quiet for the past few days, not because I haven’t been shocked and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns,” the Skims founder, 42, wrote via Twitter on Sunday, November 27. “But because I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened.”
The ads supported Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection and featured two young girls holding the purses — which were designed to look like teddy bears in BDSM-inspired looks — while surrounded by Balenciaga products, including clothing and home goods. Other images, which did not feature the children, featured a handbag resting atop a mess of files and paperwork — which turned out to include an excerpt from a Supreme Court case on child pornography.
Kardashian — who shares kids North, 9, Saint, 6, Chicago, 4, and Psalm, 3, with ex-husband Kanye West — continued: “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 concluded, “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.”
The SKKN by Kim founder had been under fire after posing in Balenciaga in a November 21 Instagram post without commenting on the controversy. The reality star has collaborated with the Spanish fashion house many times, posing for campaigns and wearing the brand at the Met Gala.
An hour after her initial statement on Sunday, Kardashian added an update about her relationship with the designer: “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 — and the actions I am expecting to see them take to protect children.”
The company pulled the images shortly after criticism caused a stir on social media.
“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 company wrote in a statement posted to its Instagram Story on November 23.
“We apologize for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign,” the message continued. “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 well-being.”