In a statement shared to Instagram on Friday, Demna—who’s served as artistic director for the luxury house since 2015—said he wanted to “personally apologize” for what he described as the “wrong artistic choice of concept for the gifting campaign with the kids.”
Per Demna, it was “inappropriate” to show children promoting “objects that had nothing to do with them.” Elaborating further, Demna spoke briefly on his creative process and also apologized to “anyone offended” by the campaigns in question.
“As much as I would sometimes like to provoke a thought through my work, I would NEVER have an intention to do that with such an awful subject as child abuse that I condemn. Period,” Demna said. “I need to learn from this, listen and engage with child protection organizations to know how I can contribute and help on this terrible subject.”
See Demna’s full statement below.
Earlier this week, Balenciaga itself shared a statement addressing the two separate ad campaigns, i.e. Spring 2023 and Gift Shop. In that statement, alleged “reckless negligence” on the part of others involved with the production of the former campaign was cited.
Also this week, the Washington Post reported that Balenciaga had announced a lawsuit against production company North Six and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins in connection with the Spring 2023 campaign. In the suit, per the Post, Balenciaga was revealed to be seeking “at least” $25 million. Meanwhile, a Des Jardins rep told the outlet their client was being used as a “scapegoat” by the brand.