Balenciaga was at the centre of a major scandal in December last year after the luxury fashion label published two photoshoots – one which featured children posing with teddy bears dressed in bondage gear, and one which showed an image of a Supreme Court opinion on child pornography.
The Spanish fashion house instantly received backlash as social media users accused them of sexualising children and normalising child pornography. In its apology, the company “strongly condemned” child abuse and said it never intended to “include it in our narrative”.
Meanwhile, Balenciaga ambassador Kim Kardashian was also met with criticism over her close partnership with the brand. Many people called out the reality star for not speaking out about the scandal sooner. Later, Kardashian issued a statement saying she would be “re-evaluating” her relationship with Balenciaga.
“I have been quiet for the past few days, not because I haven’t been disgusted and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns, but because I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened,” she said on social media.
“As a mother of four, I have been shaken by the disturbing images,” Kardashian continued. “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.”
The Kardashians star said she is currently “re-evaluating my relationship with the brand, basing it off their willingness to accept accountability for something that should have never happened to begin with – and the actions I am expecting to see them take to protect children”.
“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,” she added.
Now, it seems the Keeping Up with the Kardashians alum is selling her old Balenciaga clothes and accessories on the famous family’s online retail site, Kardashian Kloset.
Kardashian has listed more than 30 Balenciaga items, both rare and new with the tags still attached. One pair of black Balenciaga sneakers have been marked down from $850 to $680.
One “rare and new” Balenciaga denim jacket with tags has been reduced from $1,195 to $955, while a multi-coloured blue and black sequined coat from the brand has been marked down more than $2,000 after first being offered at $12,995.
A mocha brown cropped tracksuit is also being sold for $1,515, after initially being listed for $1,895.
The reality star isn’t the only former Balenciaga customer or retailer to sell their previously owned items at a discount in the wake of the ad scandal.
Influncer Holly Scarfone received 3.5m views on her TikTok video last December when she showed multiple Balenciaga bags, which were scattered across a table at Bloomingdale’s department store, on sale for 40 per cent off.
TikToker @st3vensuniverse also went viral when they filmed several Balenciaga sneakers, sandals, and heels sitting on the clearance rack at Nordstrom.
Others have cut up or thrown away their Balenciaga items following the scandal, including one woman who filmed herself destroying thousands of dollars worth of Balenciaga hoodies, T-shirts, sunglasses, and sneakers.
While Kardashian has remained somewhat quiet about the Balenciaga controversy, she recently explained why she didn’t speak out sooner.
“With the Balenciaga thing, everyone was like, ‘Why aren’t you speaking out? Why aren’t you speaking out?’ And I’m like, ‘Wait. I’m not in this campaign. I don’t know what’s happening. Let me take a minute to research this,’” she said on the Angie Martinez IRL podcast. “And then 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 porn and completely denounced it. But because I didn’t say, ‘F*** you, Balenciaga. That’s it,’ people got mad at that. So they’re mad if I don’t speak out. They’re mad if I do speak out, and if I don’t cancel.”
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