Kim Kardashian criticised for modelling in Balenciaga after brand’s campaign scandal

Kim Kardashian has been criticised for modelling in Balenciaga, nearly one year after the brand’s campaign scandal.

The reality star, 42, posed for Balenciaga’s newest lookbook this week, with her outfit from the brand’s summer 2024 collection. Her decision to model with the brand came after she said that she was “re-evaluating” her relationship with Balenciaga due to its controversial campaign of child models holding teddy bears dressed in bondage gear.

As part of her latest work with the brand, as shown on Balenciaga’s Instagram account, Kardashian posed in front of a red curtain while wearing a black latex leather dress with a slit called the “3D Molded Wet Dress”.

Her black hair appeared to be damp, while she also wore a pair of black, sheer legging pants and held a silver high heel in her hand.

Although Kardashian posed for Balenciaga’s lookbook, she reportedly didn’t attend the brand’s show on 1 October during Paris Fashion Week, according toPage Six.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, fans have criticised The Kardashians star for publicly modelling for the brand due to the controversy surrounding last year’s campaign, which featured an image of a Supreme Court opinion on a child pornography case, and which was removed due to backlash.

@KimKardashian supporting Balenciaga once again, like she forgot what happened! Is beyond messed up,” one wrote.

“Looks like Kim Kardashian is back to supporting Balenciaga. Does she think we have all forgotten that ad campaign showing children holding teddies dressed is BDSM-styled outfits? This gives me the icks,” another added.

“Kim, you don’t understand, #Balenciaga CAN’T SIT WITH US!” a third wrote, referring to a line from the hit 2000s movie Mean Girls. “You’re telling the world that it’s okay to exploit children.”

Other people encouraged Kardashian to use her platform to condemn Balenciaga, as opposed to working with the brand, with one writing: “Just think what these powerful women could do to end the abuse of children in the fashion industry! Instead she hides and doesn’t do anything. She can’t even bring herself to say f*** you Balenciaga. You got yours, screw those kids, right?”

Last month, Kardashian sparked similar backlash for wearing a Balenciaga outfit to the Kering Foundation’s annual Caring for Women Dinner. For the occasion, she wore a semi-sheer, pink, sparkly dress with a halter neckline and train, along with a pair of nude heels.

She also shared a snap of herself and Nicole Kidman posing together at the event, along with the caption: “@balenciaga babes.”

“Why are you both wearing Demna again,” one critic wrote on Kardashian’s Instagram post from the evening, while another agreed: “I seriously don’t get it. This is a simple look that she could have commissioned from any brand. I’m here because I’m a fan but this really upsets me.”

Back in November 2022, the KKW Beauty founder first broke her silence about the campaign, noting that as mother of four children – who she shares with ex-husband Kanye West – she was “shaken by the disturbing images” of the advertisements.

“The safety of children must be held with the highest regard and any attempts to normalise child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society – period,” she wrote on X at the time. “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 explained that she was “re-evaluating [her] relationship with the brand, basing it off their willingness to accept accountability for something that should have never happened to begin with”. She also added that she “appreciated” Balenciaga’s decision to issue an apology and remove the campaign.

One month after issuing the statement, Kardashian explained why she didn’t speak out against the Balenciaga teddy bear controversy at the very beginning.

“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. “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.”

She also shared her beliefs on why she faced criticism amid the campaign scandal, continuing: “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.”

The Independent has contacted a representative for Kardashian for comment.

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