A white banner with “Pedophiles” written on it was hung over the front entrance of a Dallas, Texas Balenciaga store last week, a development that follows a string of recent controversies enveloping the brand. Written in red, all-capital letters strung across the entrance and blocking the doors to the Balenciaga store. It’s unclear precisely who is responsible for putting up the banner and multiple attempts to reach management at the location were unsuccessful Monday morning.
The Spanish fashion house has been facing backlash for weeks following the release of an ad campaign called Balenciaga Gift Shop that featured children clutching stuffed animals dressed in what appeared to be bondage gear. Launched on November 16, the campaign features photos of six children holding handbags adorned to resemble teddy bears wearing leather harnesses and fishnet tops. On Nov. 21, Balenciaga rolled out another campaign that featured papers from a Supreme Court decision related to child pornography laws scattered behind the models as props.
Backlash has been widespread on social media since the series’ debut. TikTokers began going viral for destroying or throwing away their Balenciaga gear; videos with the hashtag “#boycottbalenciaga” have garnered 121.1 million views as of Monday. Twitter users posted photos of themselves lighting their Balenciaga shoes and clothes on fire.
The brand pulled within the campaign less than a week after its debut and issued an apology for the ads. “Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children. The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility,” Balenciaga said in a statement to Rolling Stone last week.
The designer’s attempt at damage control has quell the outrage against the campaign. On Nov. 30, the same week that the Dallas banner appeared, the New York Post reported that Balenciaga stores in London and Beverly Hills were vandalized with messages labeling the brand pedophilic.
Balenciaga is a sick disgusting brand that has a history of dark satanic imagery and design. This is not fashion it is trendy brainwashing of the public into thinking ridiculous, backwards, and gross ideas are good. They are not.