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43 comments

Should read Balenciaga's PR team announces a made-up lawsuit to cover their arses for promoting CSA

What an absolutely bizarre move in their part. People are going to dig, and they're giving them a chance to. This isn't the PR move they think it is. It's almost like people run from accountability nowadays.

[–] hmimperialtortie cats plz 56 points

You approved the damn thing, Balenciaga. You had every opportunity to stop it.

The image with the bag on a table near the print out of the court case is from a separate campaign, as is the image with a certificate in the background in the name of a man who abused his granddaughter. So it's not just the "BDSM teddy bear" ad campaign, it's at least two recent ad campaigns have had CSA promotion in them. That means someone working for the company is behind it.

Clients are picky and overbearing with every campaign so there's no way Balenciaga didn't approve this from the initial concept to print. Agencies don't just shoot ads without the client's green light.

Also, marketing is notoriously ageist. Especially toward women. The agency and in house team that worked on this campaign likely lean young, with maybe an older creative director or two in the mix. I suspect a real pedophile was involved and everyone else went along because they thought it was edgy.

They need to examine everyone involved.

[–] SuddenlyRamen 30 points Edited

I find it Impossible to believe they didn't know about or approve any of their groomer posts and pics. Also, where the fuck were the kids parents during all this? Sure the brand are to blame but save some of it for the kids primary carers who should've been shielding them from this predatory pedo shit.

A huge number of children in modeling and acting are basically just being fed to wolves to boost their parents ego and wallets. The parents know and they don't care

Am i the only one who thinks this went exactly as they wanted to? They have tons of free pr now and people who never even knew they existed are saying the word "Balenciaga" now.

[–] RisingUp 7 points Edited

Apparently they are the kids of Balenciaga employees. 😶

[–] proudcatlady -19 points Edited

I feel like maybe the person who approved it was a geriatric woman or possibly even a man who is not as tuned into the sexualization of this stuff as we are.

  1. Only one of the teddy bears was clearly in BDSM gear. The other one was more just goth looking. Someone who is old and out of touch as large company powerful people tend to do might not have been able to tell that the second bear was obviously in fetish gear. Alternatively, hot topic sells fetishy stuff to teens as fashion so perhaps the person was like “well some kids are into this and I don’t wanna be the weirdo who sexualizes it now.”

  2. I don’t think it’s fair to expect anyone to zoom in and read what decorative papers said. I really don’t.

[–] ProxyMusic 36 points Edited

I feel like maybe the person who approved it was a geriatric woman or possibly even a man who is not as tuned into the sexualization of this stuff as we are.

Someone who is old and out of touch as large company powerful people tend to do might not have been able to tell that the second bear was obviously in fetish gear. Alternatively, hot topic sells fetishy stuff to teens as fashion so perhaps the person was like “well some kids are into this and I don’t wanna be the weirdo who sexualizes it now.”

This shows total cluelessness about who runs and is in charge at male-dominated high-end European high fashion houses, and about how luxury brand designers and the luxury design world work. The 41-year-old man who is the "wunderkind" creative director of Balenciaga is known for injecting "street style" into the luxury brand, long known as the couture of couture. But I highly doubt he or anyone else at the male-run company headquartered in Paris, France is taking their cues either from "geriatric women" who are "old and out of touch" or from Hot Topic, an American shopping-mall-based retail chain that gets 40% of its revenues from sales of licensed band T-shirts.

Your suggestion that the men who run the creme-de-la-creme of European high-end fashion houses are putting "geriartric women" who are "old and out of touch" in key decision-making positions and leaving them to determine the company's brand imaging and advertising is ludicrous. Your totally unfounded, cockamamie theory that women, specifically "geriatric women," must be the ones to blame here is just misogyny + ageism.

https://wwd.com/fashion-news/designer-luxury/balenciaga-couture-demna-first-debut-1234871114/

I also find your ageist portrayal of "geriatric women" as all "old and out of touch" with the realities of child sexualization and sex abuse to be extremely inaccurate. The women who brought the widespread problem of child sex abuse to light in the 1970s are all now what you would dismiss as "geriatric women." You really think that women like author Judith Herman, now 80, are "not as tuned into the sexualization" of children as you?

Earlier this year, Julie Jarman, also 80, was kicked out of the Port Townsend WA YMCA pool for objecting to a young man in the ladies' locker room who was watching little girls remove their bathing suits. You really think Jarman was spurred into action to protect those girls because she is "old and out of touch" and "not as tuned into the sexualization" and sexual abuse of children as you?

[–] Te_Henga 23 points Edited

I just finished Joyce Carol Oates’ Babysitter and the way that 82yr old woman writes about the sexual depravity of men is bone chilling. She also writes lucidly about the consequences of poor child safeguarding. I haven’t read anything as insightful and terrifying in ages. Good luck pulling the wool over her ancient eyes.

Definitely out of touch with fashion houses. I thought it was a massive corporation by now since the name is so recognizable.

Nothing misogynistic or ageist about suggesting that older women do not know what the latest trends in porn are and might not recognize them immediately in an ad. I think there are a lot of women in the generation before us who did not grow up in the age of internet porn and didn’t have the incentive to find out about it the way many of their husbands did. There’s a reason “my dad can’t wait to get the latest phone” is a meme and not my mom, and it’s a dark reason in my opinion.

Doesn’t mean I wasn’t wrong about the types of people hired at Balenciaga; that was baseless. However I gotta stand by the assessment that an older woman might say it’s just some new fashion style instead of fetish gear. I personally know women that age and they are always trying to interpret things in the most benefit-of-the-doubt way possible, and I don’t think most of them would recognize a fetish costume in the first place.

I feel like maybe the person who approved it was a geriatric woman or possibly even a man who is not as tuned into the sexualization of this stuff as we are.

I don't think so.

You are right in that your random granny might not be able to pinpoint what is wrong with those photos. But - she would be able to say that they're not good.

Anyone innocent who was in charge of this would have said: "What is this supposed to mean, even? It doesn't speak to me. I don't think that will make people buy our product."

It is, I guess, possible that the person tasked with looking over this shit didn't have much to say in the company, and just thought "Ok, this is ugly, but that's apparently what the boss likes, so whatever" but if so, that'd be a terrible, terrible way to make decisions.

[–] RisingUp 7 points Edited

What kind of ad campaign are you expecting when you design a BDSM teddy bear and coerce your employees to allow their children to appear in the campaign for it?

(And then you sign off on images in which the children are holding the BDSM teddy bears and looking sad and miserable and the adult models are wearing makeup to look abused.)

These fuckers appear to be angry that the documents made the unsubtle subtext into text. But they were fine with the subtext (that was barely subtext) so fuck them.

As if we're supposed to believe that no one from the company was involved in approving the ad before it was released.

So full of shit, they approved this, they probably asked for it. Bullshit law suit

Boohoo innocent little Balenciaga, being taken advantage of! Because of course they would never ever exploit children to make money, not for anything in the world! 🤮

I hope we’ll hear more about this “lawsuit” and who was actually the mastermind behind it.

Balenciaga are ever so proud of their bags If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you see an example of a teddy bear bag worn by a Balenciaga model in the catwalk. The “teddy bear” itself is wearing bondage gear and nose piercings, and looks like the kind of toy the evil uncle would give to the young nephew who inherits the estate. Quite nightmarish.

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