Balenciaga photographer speaks out amid backlash against condemned kids campaign

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

The Balenciaga photographer who shot the recent controversial ad campaign has issued a statement regarding the backlash.

The Spanish luxury brand has been under fire this week, after sharing a photo shoot on its website that featured child models posing with teddy bears for the Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023 collection.

Critics pointed out that the advert - which is part of its Toy Stories campaign - showed children holding toys that were seemingly dressed in bondage and BDSM gear, including fishnet tops, studded leather harnesses, and collars with locks.

Since the extensive denunciation, the high-end fashion brand apologized on their Instagram stories, and now, the photographer behind the shoot - Gabriele Galimberti - has also come forward to address the criticism in a social media post.

Read Galimberti's statement below:

On November 23, Galimberti said he felt "compelled to make" a statement on Instagram following the "hundreds of hate mails and messages [he] received" as a result of the photos I snapped for the Balenciaga campaign.

The 45-year-old National Geographic photographer alleged that, although he shot the pictures, he was "not entitled" to select the products or models featured in the campaign.

"I am not in a position to comment on Balenciaga’s choices, but I must stress that I was not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same," he wrote.

"As a photographer, I was only and solely requested to [light] the given scene, and take the shots according to my signature style," he continued. "As usual for a commercial shooting, the direction of the campaign and the choice of the objects displayed are not in the hands of the photographer."

In his statement, Galimberti claimed the criticism directed at him over the campaign was misplaced and said it "distracts from the real problem and criminals".

size-large wp-image-1263180494
Credit: Twitter

The photographer also took the opportunity to explain that he has "no connection" with the photos in which a "Supreme Court document appears".

According to Galimberti, the photo in which the court papers could be seen was "taken in another set by other people and was falsely associated with my photo".

wp-image-1263179750 size-full
Credit: Instagram
wp-image-1263179751 size-full
Credit: Instagram

Galimberti's apology comes after the brand - which has been associated with the likes of Kim Kardashian - apologized on their Instagram stories for causing any "offense" with the adverts.

"We sincerely apologize for any offense 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," they wrote.

Two hours later, they issued a second apology on the Supreme Court case and said: "We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot."

The brand added: "We strongly condemn [the] abuse of children in any form. We stand for children's safety and well-being."

Featured image credit: Robert W / Alamy

Balenciaga photographer speaks out amid backlash against condemned kids campaign

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

The Balenciaga photographer who shot the recent controversial ad campaign has issued a statement regarding the backlash.

The Spanish luxury brand has been under fire this week, after sharing a photo shoot on its website that featured child models posing with teddy bears for the Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023 collection.

Critics pointed out that the advert - which is part of its Toy Stories campaign - showed children holding toys that were seemingly dressed in bondage and BDSM gear, including fishnet tops, studded leather harnesses, and collars with locks.

Since the extensive denunciation, the high-end fashion brand apologized on their Instagram stories, and now, the photographer behind the shoot - Gabriele Galimberti - has also come forward to address the criticism in a social media post.

Read Galimberti's statement below:

On November 23, Galimberti said he felt "compelled to make" a statement on Instagram following the "hundreds of hate mails and messages [he] received" as a result of the photos I snapped for the Balenciaga campaign.

The 45-year-old National Geographic photographer alleged that, although he shot the pictures, he was "not entitled" to select the products or models featured in the campaign.

"I am not in a position to comment on Balenciaga’s choices, but I must stress that I was not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same," he wrote.

"As a photographer, I was only and solely requested to [light] the given scene, and take the shots according to my signature style," he continued. "As usual for a commercial shooting, the direction of the campaign and the choice of the objects displayed are not in the hands of the photographer."

In his statement, Galimberti claimed the criticism directed at him over the campaign was misplaced and said it "distracts from the real problem and criminals".

size-large wp-image-1263180494
Credit: Twitter

The photographer also took the opportunity to explain that he has "no connection" with the photos in which a "Supreme Court document appears".

According to Galimberti, the photo in which the court papers could be seen was "taken in another set by other people and was falsely associated with my photo".

wp-image-1263179750 size-full
Credit: Instagram
wp-image-1263179751 size-full
Credit: Instagram

Galimberti's apology comes after the brand - which has been associated with the likes of Kim Kardashian - apologized on their Instagram stories for causing any "offense" with the adverts.

"We sincerely apologize for any offense 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," they wrote.

Two hours later, they issued a second apology on the Supreme Court case and said: "We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot."

The brand added: "We strongly condemn [the] abuse of children in any form. We stand for children's safety and well-being."

Featured image credit: Robert W / Alamy