Luxury fashion house Balenciaga has been in the news lately and not in a good way.
In November 2022, their holiday ad came out and immediately courted controversy.
The ad campaign featured young children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage-style or BDSM accessories. The BDSM accessories also made an appearance on the runway at Paris Fashion Week.
In a separate ad, Balenciaga photographed their latest handbag sitting on top of copies of documents from a Supreme Court Case titled United States v. Williams. The court ruling resulted in federal protection against child pornography.
Since the ad campaign, there has been a firestorm against Balenciaga. Celebrities associated with Balenciaga have also been caught up in the controversy.
Kim Kardashian made a strong statement on November 29, 2022, saying that she would "reevaluate" her contract with them. Other celebrities and influencers have claimed that they don't want to be associated with the brand. As an example, they are trashing their Balenciaga luxury goods.
The ad has even affected regular people who are fans of the brand. The major consensus among fans of the brand and fashion enthusiasts is that they will refuse to buy or wear Balenciaga products.
In the meantime, Balenciaga has apologized for the ads by saying that they made "grievous errors" and they have withdrawn those campaigns.
For now, it looks like the customer backlash is affecting Balenciaga in more ways than one. Balenciaga stores in Vegas that are usually packed are reported to be completely empty as customers have turned against the brand.