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Balenciaga Announced New A-List Ambassadors, But Does the Controversial Brand Deserve a Clean Slate?

by Laaibah Amjad


In the ever-evolving world of fashion, brand ambassadors play a crucial role in shaping recognition and image. 


Balenciaga, a luxury fashion house known for its avant-garde, structural designs and attention-seeking approaches to fashion, recently made headlines by announcement new brand ambassadors. Leaving us to wonder, are we no longer boycotting after that ‘problematic’ marketing? 


Since November 2022, when the ad campaign first went live, Balenciaga stores seem to have remained empty with TikToks still showing the stark contrast to its busy neighbours. See this video from London’s infamous Bond Street during Christmas.


These tumbleweeds are a result of the brand’s images: one featuring a child model alongside a teddy bear adorned in black leather and chains, and the other showing a stack of legal documents, including one containing the text a Supreme Court decision related to child pornography.


Their decision to appoint a new brand ambassador has raised eyebrows within the fashion community and beyond. A quick glimpse at the comment section of this video from just a few weeks ago demonstrates how we’re not ready to forgive Demna, despite his apology that stated: “I want to personally apologise for the wrong artistic choice of concept for the gifting campaign with the kids and I take my responsibility.”


The selected individuals, whose identifies had been kept under wraps until this week’s official announcement, are well-known figures within social media and entertainment industry.


Catching most media attention is Kim Kardashian.  Her connection to the brand is vast, having worn custom Balenciaga ensemble at the 2021 Met Gala, walked for their 51ST COLLECTION runway, as well as her frequent appearances at shows and in campaigns - with Demna even appearing in an episode of The Kardashians. 


Alongside the multi-millionaire are famous actors Nicole Kidman, Michelle Yeoh, Isabelle Huppert, and PP Krit Amnuaydechkorn. 


This collection of immense talents reflects a deliberate effort to bring together a diverse and globally recognised group of personalities across different cultures and levels of fame. Clearly seeking to appeal to a broad and varied audience, the public response to Balenciaga’s new brand ambassadors is still varied and one attempt at an inclusive approach doesn’t forgive a disgusting campaign. 

 

Balenciaga’s array of brand ambassadors showcases diversity, and their creative director has left a significant mark on the industry. However, the controversial campaign raises questions about Demna’s extreme focus on pushing marketing boundaries and we’re not convinced anything has changed.


Edited by Emily Duff

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