Balenciaga shares plan to rebuild reputation after child abuse scandal

balenciaga partners with charity to build reputation post scandal

Balenciaga reveals plan to rebuild reputationMike Kemp – Getty Images

Balenciaga took to Instagram this week to announce it has partnered with a children’s charity in a bid to rebuild the brand’s reputation following a scandal last year.

To recap, the once-iconic fashion house was embroiled in child abuse allegations after the launch of its 2022 Christmas campaign. The campaign featured children pictured with bondage-strapped teddy bears, and garnered widespread criticism and allegations of child sexualisation.

A separate campaign released at the same time to promote Balenciaga’s collaboration with Adidas included printouts of a Supreme Court ruling against child pornography laws, prompting further backlash from fans and critics alike.

In response to the scandal, Balenciaga apologised for causing any offence with the adverts, writing on its Instagram Story in November: “We sincerely apologise for any offence our holiday campaign may have caused. Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms.”

Since then, the brand has remained silent on social media, but this week returned to share details of its charity partnership. “Balenciaga and the Kering Foundation announce a partnership with National Children’s Alliance (NCA),” the fashion house wrote on its Story.

Balenciaga went on to explain that the “three-year program” will have several focusses, which include:

  • Supporting children healing from trauma by facilitating a significant increase in access to Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Training

  • Providing education for staff about child protection and actions adults can take to promote the safety and well-being of children

  • Raising public awareness on child abuse and child protection and promoting a happy, healthy childhood

The brand added that its support of the NCA would enable the charity to “train nearly 2,000 professionals specialised in child abuse and up to an estimated 55,000 children will benefit by receiving evidence-based mental healthcare over the three-year program.”

Speaking about the move, Cédric Charbit, President and Chief Executive Officer of Balenciaga, said: “We were confronted with the reality and magnitude of childhood trauma during our listening tour where we engaged with several leading organisations and experts in the field of childhood trauma.”

“Collectively, at Balenciaga we have listened and learned a lot through this experience, and we wanted to help, have a positive and lasting impact on children and their future who needed support but lacked access,” he added. “We are grateful to support the work of NCA.”

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