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Balenciaga high-end retailers silent on controversial ad depicting children with teddy bears in bondage

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Major department stores and online retailers have stayed silent in the fallout surrounding the controversy over a Balenciaga advertising campaign featuring children holding teddy bear purses dressed in BDSM attire. 

Retailers like Bergdorf Goodman and parent company Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Net-A-Porter have not spoken out about the issue, despite selling Balenciaga products in their store, and did not respond to questions from Fox News Digital bout whether they approve of the campaigns, which depict children with teddy bears in bondage-style attire and included Supreme Court documents about child pornography. 

None of the retailers responded to additional questions about whether they plan to cut dies with Balenciaga over the ad, or if they support minors being featured in ads with bondage-style clothing. 

GUCCI, MCQUEEN, OTHER MEGA FASHION BRANDS SILENT ON BALENCIAGA AD DEPICTING CHILDREN WITH BDSM TEDDY BEARS

The first of the controversial ads, Balenciaga's "Gift Shop" campaign, was published earlier this month, and showed kids holding handbags made from teddy bears in fishnet tops and leather harnesses. Wine glasses, chains and sunglasses were also displayed around the children. 

balenciaga storefront

A woman walks by a boarded up Balenciaga store, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, on Madison Avenue in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) ( (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) / AP Newsroom)

The social media backlash against the brand prompted critics to scour other Balenciaga ads and found that the 2023 "Garde Robe" campaign, which featured celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Bella Hadid, included paperwork from a 2008 Supreme Court case about child pornography.

BALENCIAGA APOLOGIZES FOR CHILD ABUSE THEMES IN DUAL PHOTOSHOOTS 

Following a social media firestorm, where critics accused the brand of sexualizing children and normalizing child pornography, Balenciaga issued an apology on social media and deleted all other posts. 

"We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent to include it in our narrative," the statement read. "The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility."

Balenciaga also noted that the bear-shaped purses "should not have been featured with children" and asserted the brand "strongly condemn[s] abuse of children."

balenciaga-store

A Balenciaga store. (iStock / iStock)

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Retailers are not the only ones who have remained silent on the controversy. Balenciaga's parent company, Kering, along with other major fashion brands under it, have not spoken out. Kering, who before the controversy arose posted on Twitter several times a day, has not tweeted since November 20. 

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Kim Kardashian, who has been the face of Balenciaga, said she was "shaken by the disturbing images," and appreciated the brand's apology. She also said that she is "re-evaluating" her relationship with the brand.

"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," Kardashian tweeted in a long Twitter thread

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