Standing her ground. Kim Kardashian opened up about Balenciaga’s controversial campaign that featured children posing with BDSM-inpsired stuffed animals — and defended herself amid backlash that she didn't react fast enough.
“With the Balenciaga thing, everyone was like, 'Why aren’t you speaking out?' And I was like, ‘Wait, I’m not in this campaign, I don’t know what’s happening. Let me take a minute to research this,” Kardashian, 42, said during the Monday, December 26, episode of the “Angie Martinez IRL” podcast. “And as soon as I saw what everyone was seeing on the internet and the reality of the situation I completely spoke out and gave my thoughts on child pornography. I completely denounced it.”
Balenciaga’s promotion for their Spring/Summer 2023 collection, which dropped on November 16, featured two young girls holding the purses — that were designed to look like teddy bears in BDSM-inspired looks — while surrounded by Balenciaga products, including clothing and home goods. Other images, where the children weren't present, showed 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.
The SKKN by Kim founder first came under fire after she posed in the label later that month without commenting on the photo shoot. The Kardashians star has collaborated with the Spanish fashion house many times, starring in campaigns and wearing the brand at the Met Gala in May.
Two weeks later, the Selfish author took to social media to react to the controversial images.
“I have been quiet for the past few days, not because I haven’t been shocked and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns,” she wrote via Twitter at the time. “But because I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened.”
She 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. 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.”
On Monday, Kardashian — who shares kids North, 9, Saint, 7, Chicago, 4, and Psalm, 3, with ex-husband Kanye West — explained that because she didn’t say “'F—k you Balenciaga’ and that’s it,” people “got mad” at her response to the scandal. “It’s like, they’re mad if I don’t speak out, they’re mad if I do speak out and I don’t cancel [the brand]. They’re just mad.”
While the KKW Beauty founder said that “the whole point of life is to make mistakes” and to “grow and evolve and be better people,” she added that there was "no place" for minors in BDSM-themed art and "anything with the sexualization of children” shouldn’t be “in our brains or our society.”
Kardashian insisted, however, that she “couldn’t have been more clear” when initially denouncing the campaign and that the advertisement was both “horrifying” and "disturbing.”
“But unless they hear what they wanted to hear, it’s like, ‘F—k you, you’re canceled,’” she said.