Home US All is forgiven: Balenciaga boss Demna is praised by friend Kim Kardashian and billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault in fawning Harper’s Bazaar interview, a year after boycott over child BDSM ad

All is forgiven: Balenciaga boss Demna is praised by friend Kim Kardashian and billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault in fawning Harper’s Bazaar interview, a year after boycott over child BDSM ad

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'Long-time friend' Kim Kardashian praised Demna in new Harper's Bazaar piece

Kim Kardashian and billionaire Fran├žois-Henri Pinault have praised Balenciaga creative director Demna, two years after his brand was boycotted over a children’s BDSM advertising campaign.

In the Harper’s Bazaar profile, Kardashian described Demna as a “gentle soul” who “knows exactly what she wants,” while Pinault said she “influences all of fashion.”

Their endorsements come two years after Balenciaga descended into chaos after releasing a pair of ads that featured a boy holding a teddy bear dressed in a BDSM outfit and another with court documents about child pornography.

The resulting scandal sparked a massive boycott of Balenciaga products, with some critics even burning clothes and spray-painting graffiti on store facades.

The brand apologized, but sales remained low for more than a year and the “Other Homes” division to which parent company Kering belongs fell 15 percent in the third quarter of 2023, according to Vogue.

'Long-time friend' Kim Kardashian praised Demna in new Harper's Bazaar piece

‘Long-time friend’ Kim Kardashian praised Demna in new Harper’s Bazaar piece

The story comes two years after the brand was boycotted over a pair of ads that showed children posing with BDSM bears.

The story comes two years after the brand was boycotted over a pair of ads that showed children posing with BDSM bears.

The story comes two years after the brand was boycotted over a pair of ads that showed children posing with BDSM bears.

Demna with Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala 2021

Demna with Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala 2021

Balenciaga creative director Demna accused of advertising scandals

Balenciaga creative director Demna accused of advertising scandals

Balenciaga creative director Demna accused of advertising scandals

Despite this, Harper’s Bazaar’s new interview with Demna only briefly addressed the scandal, referring to it as a “tumult” surrounding the “controversial” pair of ads.

He says Demna is “candid” about what a “dark period” it was, and quotes him as saying, “I had a tough year, and doing the show here is like…” with a sigh of relief.

He later added: ‘I think I am constantly and very persistently evolving in my work. I think I’m better now than I was before, but I’m not as good as I should be.

‘In seven years of therapy, (I learned) that the best and most important relationship I have is with myself.’

He added: ‘I don’t have a strategy for what I do; I just do it.’

Instead of reflecting on the scandal, the piece focuses on his work and his relationships with the celebrities he collaborates with.

He quotes Demna’s “old friend” and brand ambassador Kardashian as saying, “He’s such a gentle soul who knows exactly what he wants.”

‘You don’t need all the people around you to tell you what their point of view is. And his way of thinking is daring.

Actress Isabelle Huppert, who appeared in the ads and narrated her recent show, is quoted as saying: ‘When you meet Demna, you feel her authenticity. You see her journey.’

And Balenciaga parent company Kering president and CEO Pinault praised Demna’s “strong personal universe” and “her creative vision” in the article.

In this image from Balenciaga's scrapped Spring '23 campaign, Isabelle Huppert sits in front of a stack of books, including one that pays homage to Michael Borremans, a Belgian painter whose work is known for including depictions of castrated young boys.

In this image from Balenciaga's scrapped Spring '23 campaign, Isabelle Huppert sits in front of a stack of books, including one that pays homage to Michael Borremans, a Belgian painter whose work is known for including depictions of castrated young boys.

In this image from Balenciaga’s scrapped Spring ’23 campaign, Isabelle Huppert sits in front of a stack of books, including one that pays homage to Michael Borremans, a Belgian painter whose work is known for including depictions of castrated young boys.

Campaign that presented the printed copy of the SCOTUS ruling on child pornography.

Campaign that presented the printed copy of the SCOTUS ruling on child pornography.

One of the photos in the ad contained an excerpt from the US Supreme Court's opinion in United States v. Williams, which upheld part of a federal child pornography law, which Twitter's own fact-checkers confirmed.

One of the photos in the ad contained an excerpt from the US Supreme Court's opinion in United States v. Williams, which upheld part of a federal child pornography law, which Twitter's own fact-checkers confirmed.

One of the photos in the ad contained an excerpt from the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in United States v. Williams, which upheld part of a federal child pornography law.

According to him, the designer “is very in tune with our times and resonates particularly well with young customers.”

He added: “It has put Balenciaga back at the center of the fashion map and, beyond Balenciaga, it somehow influences all of fashion.”

The article also quoted Demna’s mother, who praised her “intelligence,” her “sincerity,” and her “unwavering” nature.

Their praise comes two years after Balenciaga published ads featuring them. children posing with the brand’s stuffed bag. The bags look like teddy bears and are dressed in BDSM clothing.

In the photo session, the children also appeared surrounded by empty wine and champagne glasses.

The adult issues worried many who asked why children had ever been used.

Balenciaga ignored the scandal at first and appeared to let the photographer involved, Gabriele Galimberti, take the blame.

He issued a statement saying he had no control over the content of the shoot, and Balenciaga eventually issued its own statement agreeing with him and taking responsibility for the campaign.

It has now been removed from the Internet.

Vandalism at an empty store on Rodeo Drive last night in a clear protest against the brand, whose own store is nearby

Vandalism at an empty store on Rodeo Drive last night in a clear protest against the brand, whose own store is nearby

Vandalism at an empty store on Rodeo Drive last night in a clear protest against the brand, whose own store is nearby

Meanwhile, on social media, disenchanted consumers burned their Balenciaga products in protest.

Meanwhile, on social media, disenchanted consumers burned their Balenciaga products in protest.

Meanwhile, on social media, disenchanted consumers burned their Balenciaga products in protest.

Meanwhile, on social media, disenchanted consumers burned their Balenciaga products in protest.

Meanwhile, on social media, disenchanted consumers burned their Balenciaga products in protest.

After the BDSM bear ads, critics began to examine the rest of Balenciaga’s campaigns.

They discovered that in the background of a Spring 23 campaign image was a printout of a Supreme Court ruling on whether child pornography on the Internet can legally be considered freedom of expression.

In the wake of the bear scandal, many critics said it pointed to a worrying pattern within Balenciaga.

Balenciaga blamed North Six, a production company that helped organize the shoot, for the inclusion of those documents.

They claimed that they entrusted all of the photo shoot props to North Six and that their team was assured that everything included was fake.

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