Balenciaga Shares New Statement on Ad Campaign Controversies, Files $25M Lawsuit Against Production Company

Image via Getty/Asanka Ratnayake
Image via Getty/Asanka Ratnayake

In a newly released statement, Balenciaga says it “takes responsibility” amid continued coverage surrounding two recent campaigns that have received still-growing criticism, including from Kim Kardashian.

In the statement, seen in full below, a spokesperson addressed the controversy spurred by the two separate campaigns, i.e. this month’s Spring 2023 and Gift Shop campaigns.

“We strongly condemn child abuse,” the company’s statement, shared Monday, said. “It was never our intent to include it in our narrative. The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility.”

Deeper into the statement, alleged “reckless negligence” from third parties was cited in connection with the inclusion of an excerpt from a Supreme Court ruling involving child pornography.

“All the items included in this shooting were provided by third parties that confirmed in writing that these props were fake office documents,” the company said. “They turned out to be real legal papers most likely coming from the filming of a television drama. The inclusion of these unapproved documents was the result of reckless negligence for which Balenciaga has filed a complaint.”

When reached for comment by Complex on Monday, a rep for Balenciaga shared a text version of the same statement posted to the label’s official Instagram account.

As for the cited complaint, a report from the Washington Post states that the Spring 2023 campaign has spurred the announcement of a lawsuit from Balenciaga against production company North Six and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins. Per the report, Balenciaga is seeking “at least $25 million in damages.”

A rep for the set designer, however, is quoted in the Post piece as arguing that their client is simply being used as a “scapegoat” in response to the controversy. Furthermore, the agent alleged that “everyone from Balenciaga” was involved with the shoot in question.

Complex has reached out to Des Jardins’ rep for additional comment. This story may be updated.

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