Balenciaga is facing major backlash over its latest childrenswear ad campaign.
The Spanish fashion brand, which recently made headlines for cutting ties with Kanye West over his antisemitic statements, is now going viral for all the wrong reasons. Social media users are perturbed over a recent photo shoot featuring children posing with teddy bears dressed in leather harnesses and fishnet ensembles. On November 19, one Twitter user shared images from the photo shoot, writing, “Balenciaga using photos of little girls playing with teddy bears dressed in bondage gear on their website. Lovely.”
Another photo on the Balenciaga website reportedly featured a court document pertaining to child pornography laws. Per ABC7 News, the document in question “reaffirmed the constitutionality of The Protect ACT, which outlaws sexually explicit images of children even if the content is not perceived by some to be sexually explicit or pornographic.”
The next day, a verified account with over half a million followers brought more attention to the advertisements. “The brand ‘Balenciaga’ just did a uh..... interesting... photoshoot for their new products recently which included a very purposely poorly hidden court document about ‘virtual child porn,’” @shoeonhead tweeted on November 20. “Normal stuff.”
Twitter added commentary by “readers” to Shoe’s post, confirming that the document “contains an excerpt from the US Supreme Court opinion in United States v. Williams, which upheld part of a federal child pornography law.”
Balenciaga no longer has a Twitter account but is continuing to post on Instagram despite the backlash. The brand’s latest Instagram post was flooded with comments like “Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition,” which is a Supreme Court case regarding the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996. Comments on the post have since been limited.
Originally Appeared on Glamour