Luxury fashion house Kering Balenciaga has been in hot waters since unveiling its controversial Spring 2023 campaign which included young children holding teddy bear bags while wearing S&M-style harnesses, and another in which a page from a Supreme Court decision banning child pornography was used in a set background.
Balenciaga is now suing the production company behind its Spring 2023 advertising campaign. While the label is already facing condemnation for its campaign involving children, Balenciaga last week filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York State. Balenciaga is seeking damages of at least US$25 million from production company North Six, Inc. and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins.
The Kering-owned luxury brand had engaged North Six and Des Jardins to develop and produce the campaign for the Spring 2023 season. Said campaign featured actress Nicole Kidman and model Bella Hadid and was intended to present an environment of company, staged to replicate a “Manhattan office space”. As part of the set, a messy desk is featured with a visible clutter of sheets of paper, including a page from the 2008 Supreme Court decision in United States v. Williams. In a statement provided to CNN of Balenciaga, it is a case “which confirms as illegal and not protected by freedom of expression the promotion of child pornography”. The court document claims that Balenciaga had no knowledge of the materials included in the creative style of the set and did not authorize the inclusion of the case in the background. Balenciaga’s statement to CNN declares that all items included in this shoot were provided by third parties who have confirmed in writing that these props are false office documents. It turned out to be real legal papers most likely from the filming of a TV series.
Court documents said that as a result of the defendants’ actions, “members of the public, including the news media, falsely and horribly associated Balenciaga with the repugnant and deeply disturbing subject matter of the court’s decision.” Balenciaga is pushing for North Six and Des Jardins to be liable for “any harm resulting from this false association”.
However, Amelia K. Brankov, attorney for Nicholas Des Jardins and his company, said that “there was certainly no malicious scheme going on. As Balenciaga knows, many document boxes simply came from an accessory house as rental items. In her statement, she also claimed: “Additionally, representatives of Balenciaga were present at the shoot, supervising and handling the papers and props, and Des Jardins as set designer was not responsible for the selection of images for the shoot. .” A representative for North Six said the production company “had no creative input or control over filming. North Six was not on set during final preparations.
Balenciaga ambassador Kim Kardashian recently addressed the campaign on Sunday to condemn their actions. She said she was currently “reassessing” her working relationship with Balenciaga and that “the safety of children must be held in the highest consideration and any attempt to normalize child abuse of any kind should not have its place in our society – period.”
As a mother of four children, I was shaken by the disturbing images. Child safety should be held in the highest regard and any attempt to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society – period.
—Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) November 27, 2022
As for my future with Balenciaga, I am currently reassessing my relationship with the brand, basing it on their willingness to accept responsibility for something that should never have happened in the first place – and the actions I expect them to take. see take to protect children.
—Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) November 28, 2022
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