UPDATED 12/2, 2:10 p.m. ET: Balenciaga has dropped its $25 million lawsuit against production company North Six, which was filed earlier this week, per TMZ.
Amid the controversy over the luxury fashion house’s questionable ad campaign, Balenciaga is choosing to focus its energy on supporting organizations that protect children from abuse. “Our content process for content validation has failed, and we recognize the need to do better,” wrote president and CEO Cédric Charbit. “On the internal side, we nominate with immediate effect an image board responsible for evaluating the nature of our content from concept to final assets, including legal, sustainability and diversity expertise.”
The brand has additionally hired an agency to “assess and evaluate” all forthcoming content, and they have already “reorganized” the image department “to ensure full alignment” with their company guidelines. “Balenciaga has decided not to pursue litigation. … We want to learn, help, and contribute to protect children.”
The company has set aside “a significant fund for grants to organizations” in an effort to “help make a difference in protecting children.” Charbit concluded the statement with an apology. “At Balenciaga, we stand together for children safety and do not tolerate any kind of violence and hatred message.”
See original story below.
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.