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Balenciaga’s Denma Gvasalia issues apology for “inappropriate” ad campaign featuring kids

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Balenciaga’s creative director, Denma Gvasalia, has broken his silence regarding the brand’s recent controversial ad campaign.

“I want to personally apologize for the wrong artistic choice of concept for the gifting campaign with the kids and I take my responsibility,” Gvasalia wrote in a statement on Instagram Friday. “It was inappropriate to have kids promote objects that had nothing to do with them.”

“As much as I would sometimes like to provoke a thought through my work, I would NEVER have an intention to do that with such an awful subject as child abuse that I condemn,” he added.

The famed creative said he needed to “learn from this, listen and engage with child protection organizations to know how I can contribute and help on this terrible subject.”

The apology comes after the luxury brand faced backlash for featuring children with sexualized teddy bears in a recent ad campaign.

Balenciaga’s president and CEO, Cédric Charbit, also issued a statement on Friday, sharing that the company has reorganized its image department to ensure full alignment with corporate guidelines.

The company also confirmed Friday it would be dropping a lawsuit previously filed against the North Six production company, as well as set designer Nicholas Des Jardins, over a separate Spring 2023 ad campaign, which included a photo that showed a Supreme Court ruling on child pornography laws.

Balenciaga had accused North Six and Des Jardins of “malevolent or, at the very least, extraordinarily reckless” conduct in its work on that ad campaign, though a source close to North Six told Good Morning America on Monday that the production company had only handled logistics for the shoot and did not have creative control or input in the campaign.

The company first responded to the blowback on November 22, saying it “sincerely” apologized for the campaign.

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