November 28, 2022

"[Balenciaga’s 'Toy Stories' campaign was] an attempt at 'let’s give people something to talk about' gone terribly wrong."

"[It's] almost an anti-fashion brand ['with its collections inspired by “The Simpsons” and Crocs' and 'an $1,500 leather clutch made to look like a bag of Lay’s chips']... But just how much can you challenge what’s cool? There’s a thin line between being creative and essentially using children as props or having them pose with inappropriate items.... All of these decisions go through so many levels of approval and eyes.... So who approved this and where did everything go wrong? There really needs to be some accountability within Balenciaga... Brands can’t get away with these massive mistakes anymore. In this digital age where anything can go viral and anyone can investigate, consumers have a really big and loud voice." 

Said Priscilla Gonzalez, 27, "a Mexico-based stylist and fashion content creator," quoted in "After teddy bear backlash, Balenciaga announces lawsuit for separate ad" (WaPo).

Are these even mistakes, let alone "massive mistakes"? It's all a mind game, getting you to pay thousands for dumb-but-branded items.

We're talking about them, we're challenged, we're aghast or whatever. It's a stupid game, but as long as there are young people who can't really afford expensive high fashion but feel thrilled to hold one thing — a bag — that screams the name, there's $1,000 to be plucked from their delicate pliable fingers.


Kevin said...

There’s a thin line between being creative and essentially using children as props

You know who likes thin lines?

The people who decide where the line will be placed today.

rhhardin said...

It's border collies herding the mob. Sexualizing children as a goad was discovered in the 70s.

typingtalker said...

It's not who I am. It's not what I am. It's not what I have accomplished. It' not about my creativity.

It's about whose label I wear.

(Next week we'll discuss the cost of worthless college degrees)

Leland said...

I believe it is Balenciaga's message, not the photographer's or ad agency's, unless they can produce the producer that produced the photo. Companies protect their brand, and they don't put out things associated with their brand without careful scrutiny.

mezzrow said...

Let me be the first to make the argument that there are thousands of ways to separate those who are easily influenced from their money. As with cocaine in the 80s, fashion is a sign that the money/savvy ratio of that individual may be out of balance. The same is true of collecting vintage cars and watches. I think of Marie Antoinette innocently tending sheep with the Vendee massacre just around the corner and down the road.

We lose track of how much money these folks control. Outrage is a magnet for the rich and disaffected, and nobody will cop to offending the normies in this particular moment.

Enigma said...

Every single Hollywood personality absolutely, positively hates the paparazzi. "Leave me alone, no photos. I demand my privacy." they call the press in advance to set up 'accidental' public encounters.

"Love me or hate me just spell my name right."

I suppose a $1,500 leather bag of Lay's chips has more value than Madonna's nude-with-tree-growing-out-of-her NFTs.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

tim maguire said...

I'd never heard of Balenciaga before this campaign, so their visibility is through the roof. In that regard, it is extremely effective. And chances are, a few moths from now I'll still vaguely recognize the name and have completely forgotten about the controversy. So maybe as a long-term plan, it'll work out.

But unless their reaction--blaming the agency and the photographer--is part of the campaign (some kind of 4-D chess thing), it is not going to go well for them. For one thing what agency will work with them going forward?

tim in vermont said...

I just wish that this story would go away and that the pedophiles involved could be treated with lead pills and dumped in the ocean, bin Laden style. Some of the images that come up related to this story will make you lose sleep.

Dave Begley said...

“So who approved this and where did everything go wrong? There really needs to be some accountability within Vanderbilt Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital ... Brands can’t get away with these massive mistakes anymore.”

Giving kids puberty blocking drugs and performing trans surgery on minors is more significant than an advertisement, but nobody will get fired. In fact, have these doctors and hospitals stopped?

Medical experiments in the US are apparently okay as long as the Dems approve of this fashion.

Icehouse said...

I wasn't able to access the Washington Post article, but note the framing: "After teddy bear backlash, Balenciaga announces lawsuit for separate ad". It's a "teddy bear" issue, not a sexualizing children issue. The focus is the "backlash", not the actions of Balenciaga. And the headline points us to the lawsuit, which is likely little more than a save-face gambit. Balenciaga and the Post want to call our attention to the lawsuit, in the hopes that it will promote exoneration, and cause us to look past the outrageous theme of the ad.

Tom T. said...

The fact that they sued over one but not the other tells me that the brand people approved the teddy bears but just saw the court decision as random business papers and didn't actually read its text (i.e., the fine print). They're saying they're like a furniture store buying a load of used books to use as props, and that the photographer deliberately inserted the offensive content.

That aside, high fashion is artwork of a sort. You or I might not pay $1000 for a painting, but I think we all recognize that someone might. I suspect that we all have something that we're willing to pay extra for, that other people would consider a waste. For some it might be high-end coffee or wine, where they think they notice flavor nuances that most people don't. For others, it's a particular brand of gun. Some people put a ton of money into their landscaping. We all know an audiophile who spends thousands of dollars on stereo equipment, to bring out subtleties of sound that no one else can hear.

Dave Begley said...

Vandy has stopped temporarily stopped genital surgery,.

“ Democrats pushed back, saying that “hate” was being used “for political purposes.”

“Parents should be able to make decisions in regard to their children’s health. That is something Republicans claim to fight for, but refuse to acknowledge when it comes to transition-related care,” Rep. Vincent Dixie, House Democratic Caucus Chair said.”

Actually, it’s about love and protecting kids from their own bad decisions.

Gusty Winds said...

Some pretty sick stuff coming out of Lotta Volkova, a top designer at Balenciaga and Adidas. Really sick.

If you haven’t yet accepted that grooming, child abuse, sexual exploitation, and pornography are a major problem and a sign of our moral decay in America, you probably still believe our elections are the safest ever.

It used to be the "love that dare not speak its name", not its just openly broadcast.

Wake up people. All of it is sadly real. I’m not really worried about that potato chip bag couch. The elite can launder their money through this like they do the art world. But leave the kids alone.

We will hear nothing from the education establishment leaders because they are in on the game. From kiddie porn, to tranny drag shows, to massive student debt. Children and young people are simply fuel for their desires and comfort. They are already signaling for new winter school lockdowns.

Can you imagine being a child in today’s sick America??

Temujin said...

It seems to be accepted as rational outrage at the consumer brand, Balenciaga.
By comparison, outrage coming from parents of children against the same approach done in school systems using books or curricula, or drag queen story hours is considered brutish and theocratic by most of our media and 'thought leaders'.

Danno said...

The product must be worth fighting and shooting someone?

Naw, just ghetto thugs being thuggish.

Howard said...

The kids are fine it's you adults that are freaking out over nonsense rumor and innuendo exaggerated by artificial intelligence robots designed to keep you in a panicked lather

Joe Smith said...

Never worked in fashion but have been the art director for hundreds of photo sessions in tech.

They tried to blame the photographer at one point.

When doing a shoot, one might ask a photographer for input if they have a good eye, but NOTHING gets in the frame of a shot without the art director's approval...

cassandra lite said...

Fred and Ricky convince Lucy and Ethel that potato sacks are high-fashion dresses properly topped off with feedbag and champagne-bucket "hats." Hahaha, as the girls are embarrassed...until their outfits become the latest Parisian fashions.

The parody still fits today.

Tina Trent said...

Hmm, (checks watch) normalizing S&M pedpophilia. Right on schedule.

What's left? Bestiality, Necrophilia, Necrophiliatic child molestation?

Kissing a Republican?

The photographer, the company, and every magazine that reprinted this might -- arguably -- be charged with distributing child pornography. To make it even more gross, this is what a lot of child porn looks like: a wary or fearful child in a child's bedroom surrounded by sexual props. Sexual innuendo embedded in an innocent and intimate child's setting is what molesters like best. You cannot tell me that everyone involved in the photo shoot did not know this. Someone in law enforcement should find out why they know this.

Tina Trent said...

Howard -- got any daughters or nieces you'd like to donate to the cause? Infants will do just fine.

Anthony said...

Well, down here in AZ there is a dirt cheap fashion trend of wearing arm floaties -- adults, mind you -- like little kids wear in the pool, as an accessory.

I kid you not.

Amadeus 48 said...

What a comedown for Balenciaga! Talk about dumbing down a brand.

Christobal Balenciaga is spinning in his grave. We saw an exhibition at the V&A Museum four years ago about Balenciaga. It was the ultimate haute couture house from 1919 to 1968.
From Wikipedia: "Several designers who worked for Balenciaga would go on to open their own successful couture houses, notably Oscar de la Renta (1949), Andre Courreges (1950), Emanuel Ungaro (1958), but his most famous and noted protégé was Hubert de Givenchy..." Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn,Jacqueline Kennedy, and Ava Gardner were regular clients.

Rusty said...

"There’s a thin line between being creative and essentially using children as props"
It's an advertisement. The talent ARE props.
OK groomer.

Aggie said...

I suppose it was a bit of a gamble that people would notice the bondage-dressed teddy clutched in the hand of the little girl, and so forth. The outrage that follows proves that the advertising campaign worked as designed, to get attention. What is most disturbing is the complexity and production values that were worked into the shoot. The pedophile court case papers coyly layered on the desk with just enough showing to identify them, for anyone wanting to make a connection. Whoever was conducting the shoot was more than just a commercial photo artist - they are a well-informed, perhaps enthusiastic devotee of the genre, so to speak, a little too familiar with the material. That's the f*ckin' sick part that has people really pissed off. The flaunting of it, while assuming people are too ignorant to comprehend what they're seeing. 'Forget it, Jake - it's Flyover Country'

Drago said...

Howard: "The kids are fine it's you adults that are freaking out over nonsense rumor and innuendo exaggerated by artificial intelligence robots designed to keep you in a panicked lather"

If any readers were wondering if Howard was really going to keep up his groomer-enabling denial of the obvious after this latest episode where small children were used to deliver child sexual grooming message featuring SM and bondage, well, now you have your answer.

The answer is an unequivocable yes.

When you add that to the lefties claiming fathers showering with their adolescent daughters is "perfectly normal" (looking at you gadfly, victoria from pasadena and Inga), as well as their full on push to physically castrate and mutilate "gender confused" children (whom they confused, purposely), its really adding up to quite some picture, isn't it?

Old and slow said...

Not in my part of Arizona there ain't... .

Achilles said...

Howard said...

The kids are fine it's you adults that are freaking out over nonsense rumor and innuendo exaggerated by artificial intelligence robots designed to keep you in a panicked lather

You are showing quite blatant signs of being not just a victim of abuse, but following the path of child abuse yourself.

The push to sexualize children earlier and earlier by the government and corporate regime is unacceptable.

What people must remember that our society protecting children and maintaining there innocence past the age of sexual maturity is not the norm in the world. Children are literally bought and sold for sex as commodities in Afghanistan and many other countries in the world today.

Young girls are very valuable in China.

In India young girls are sent to "Temples" where they are raped by high caste men who pass it off as a religious act.

Joe Biden is obviously degenerate and odds are he has done just as much in private settings with children as he has done in public. At minimum.

Howard is the norm in the world. One of the particularly exceptional achievements of the United States is we have made pedophilia taboo.

PM said...

Gay humor, received poorly.

Beasts of England said...

‘The kids are fine it's you adults that are freaking out over nonsense…’

You have no idea if the kids are fine or not. And is this really a topic to be treated in such a cavalier manner?

tim in vermont said...

It's like nobody is every going to mention the child porn that was on Hunter's laptop, stuff that was published on-line by Chinese dissidents, and stuff that was the reason that Giuliani gave a copy of the laptop to the Delaware State Police, since, as an officer of the court, he was required to do so.

Jason said...

Howard: " The kids are fine it's you adults that are freaking out over nonsense rumor and innuendo exaggerated by artificial intelligence robots designed to keep you in a panicked lather.

Ok, groomer.

Butkus51 said...

Remember those paintings and stories of Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, etc. hanging around and hanging onto kids in a weird way in public?

Go ahead Howard, Im waiting for it. Give me your reply.

Gusty Winds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MB said...

Of course the models are props. So, the question is, why use children for a shoot with a sexual theme? The creepiness level is up there with the early Love's Baby Soft ads.

MB said...

Of course the models are props. So, the question is, why use children for a shoot with a sexual theme? The creepiness level is up there with the early Love's Baby Soft ads.

Lem the artificially intelligent said...

I can’t read this for some reason.

Gusty Winds said...

Imagine the difference between men that have voluntarily given up a seat on a lifeboat for the chivalrous truth "women and CHILDREN first" vs. the men (and women too) that engage in child pornography and exploitation.

That is a wide moral chasm.

stunned said...

Howard's executive functioning is having a bad day, again.
Cancel balenciaga. They won't.

Gusty Winds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
narciso said...

Because they are evil full stop

Jupiter said...

"Are these even mistakes, let alone "massive mistakes"?"

No, this is part of a coordinated campaign to destroy the existing American nation. The various collections of vermin carrying out this attack have very different ideas about what we should be replaced with, but they figure they can sort that out later.

wendybar said...

A lot of WOKE celebrities are suddenly silent

n.n said...

Em-pathetic appeal? Rape or rape-rape culture? Diversity? With informed consent follows responsibility.

Jupiter said...

Does this look like a "mistake"?

Jimmy said...

This has been going on for a long long time. It only becomes news when the scum who support it, practice it, and fund it over step and think its time to come out in the open.
The sexualization of children will continue, without consequences to the abusers.
Within a generation, sex with minors will be the norm.
The left has supported this for decades, and many politicians on the right do as well.
but yeah, continue to act shocked when kids are props at drag shows, or used as props in Satanic themes produced by main stream magazines.
What needs to be done about, will never be done.
This current society doesn't have the courage or the conviction to act.

n.n said...

Imagine the difference between men that have voluntarily given up a seat on a lifeboat for the chivalrous truth "women and CHILDREN first"

Most men, and women, are forward-looking.

tcrosse said...

Has Althouse found a copy of David Sedaris' lambskin brown shopping bag?

Saint Croix said...

It's Overton window stuff.

It's a major problem when we equivocate "cool" or "interesting" with "edgy" or "pushing the envelope."

The strange/unusual/weird gets normalized. So how do you then establish your new unusual?

"I pierced my nose. Now everybody is piercing their nose. I got to pierce something else, man."

"I got a tattoo. Everybody's got a tattoo! I need a mohawk."

"We've done wax on the nipples and it's kind of boring, to be honest. Every Thursday it's wax on the nipples. I'm sick of wax on the nipples. You know what we could try? Gerbil up the ass."

(I'll tell you something interesting -- you can flip the script and do secret edgy stuff that is better than good. Give $100 to a stranger, just for the fuck of it. Do it in secret. When you get bored with your piddly charity, you take it farther).

Lilly, a dog said...

These are not mistakes. They are testing how far they can go. In the future, they will be more and more explicit with their messages.

Jupiter said...


Achilles said...

According to the regime and it’s supporters Polanski did nothing wrong and is worthy of a standing ovation.

Drago said...

Howard: "The kids are fine it's you adults that are freaking out over nonsense rumor and innuendo exaggerated by artificial intelligence robots designed to keep you in a panicked lather"

In the child BDSM ad campaign that Howard claims does not exist, we now know the producer of the ad has a history of artwork that includes castrated children.

Can you imagine how tired Howard has to be from pushing all his previous gaslighting lies about his dems pushing the mutilation of children for grooming purposes and now, NOW, Howard has to go out and pretend this democratical-"mainstream" idea of castrating and mutilating children (at least the ones that survive the democratical abortion for profit pipeline) doesn't exist as well!!

An online hack's work is never done, is it Howard?

wendybar said...

Jupiter said...

11/28/22, 3:20 PM

OMG!! Disgusting PERVERTS. THIS is grooming. These people are evil.

DanTheMan said...

Jupiter.... that link should definitely come with a warning! What a bunch of sickos!

gilbar said...

Saint Croix said...
It's Overton window stuff.
"I got a tattoo. Everybody's got a tattoo! I need a mohawk."

i'm Really Wondering, if/when the next step will be..
Everybody's got a tattoo!
My Mom's got a tattoo!
My Grandma's got a Tattoo!!
My GREAT Grandma had a Tattoo!!!
I think i'm going to NOT get a tattoo.. Not ONE!

CStanley said...

Conflating this with the usual shock tactics is a mistake. Either these people are as depraved as they appear to be or they are using shock-in-advertisement in a way that desensitizes people to stone cold evil.

Neither of these things is any way acceptable.

Bunkypotatohead said...

Apple and Google want to do away with Musk's Twitter, but you won't hear a peep from them about this sort of thing.

Aggie said...

So it would appear that the principal culprit is: The Devil In Disguise: Lotta Volkova

1. She has been one of the main stylist in Balenciaga since 2014.
2. She has a relationship with an accused pedophile.
3. We can't only boycott #Balenciaga but also the people behind it....

A thread:

effinayright said...

History may not repeat itself, but as Mark Twain said, it rhymes.

If so, when what went around comes back around, as seems to be happening here, normal people will finally take the steps they used to take to deal with perverted/demented/evil people who are trying to turn their children into.... perverted/demented/evil people.

It will be very, very ugly....but most will think it very, very necessary.

Saint Croix said...

I'll tell you something interesting -- you can flip the script and do secret edgy stuff that is better than good. Give $100 to a stranger, just for the fuck of it. Do it in secret. When you get bored with your piddly charity, you take it farther.

Let me build on this idea a little.

If you think it's fun to be a crazy bad-ass who does things that ordinary people are scared to try...

and I've always been kind of like this. Even when I was a little first-grader I would do shit like say, "I think I can jump out of the tree house." And my first grade girlfriend Amanda (we didn't do anything, not even play doctor, all we did was read comic books in her tree house) freaked the fuck out, but not half as much as her fourth grade sister.

"Do not jump out of the tree house!"

"I can do it. It's not so far."

"It's too far! You cannot jump out of the tree house."

And they talked me out of jumping out of the tree house. So that was kind of like the Fonz not jumping the shark at the last moment.

Flirting with danger has always been a way to impress the chicks. At least on TV, where you always successfully jump the shark or foil that super-villain or beat the shit out of that very large bully. In reality women are so not impressed by man fails that a lot of us have decided it's cooler not to try any of that shit.

I still think I could have leaped out of that fucking tree house. It was like nine feet off the ground for fuck's sake. That's not even a sprain, you wimpy children. But now that I'm an older man, I'm like, "Why would I do that, it's so fucking stupid." So I'm more conservative.

Instead of risking your career with some edgy commentary ("hey! maybe I'm a child fucker! You don't know...") only to lose millions of dollars and people pointing their fingers at you and you realize "that Overton window shit will cut your fingers off if you get it wrong," instead of doing all that wild man stuff for evil, why not do some wild man stuff for good?

Jesus tapped into this when he told a rich guy who wanted to go to heaven, "Give all your money to the poor."

You want to scare the shit out of people and make them think you're a bad ass from heaven? Give all your money to the poor. That will freak the fuck out of everybody. Your family will lock your ass up in a mental institution.

That's possibly one reason Jesus instructs us to do our charity in secret. Do some wild ass crazy ass thing for good, and nobody knows about it but God, and maybe he will be impressed.

Probably not, God's not impressed by any of our accomplishments. He created the universe, you know, so that Monet painting is some piddly shit, honestly. He's not impressed with the accomplishment. It's more like a father loving that sad little drawing that a 6-year-old does. "I'm going to put that shit on my refrigerator!"

effinayright said...

Meanwhile, wymyn are complaining they can't just show off their camel toes, ass cracks and boobs when and wherever they feel like it:

Free clue: she SHOULD feel ashamed! She's dressing like a HO, and expecting normal people, including men, not to notice. Notice she made other WOMEN uncomfortable!

It's one more reason why most women need to take these vacuous hos aside and tell them they are fucking things up for normal women. And expecting men not to notice or react to.

(Does anyone really understand why Arab men think Western women walk around wearing "fuck me" clothes, and respond to the invitation?)

These same bimbos worship the Kardashians, who offer NOTHING to men or women except for display of their their camel toes, ass cracks and boobs, while wearing stuff no ordinary woman would dare walk around in public in.

As Camille Paglia used to say, the worst thing that could happen to human civilization would be to put women in charge, because the distribution curve leans so heavily toward brainless wymyn like the Kardashian-worshippers.

There is a FUCKING REASON why 99% of the inventions in human history have come from men.

It's because so many wymyn spend their time trying to "one-up" other wymyn by showing off their camel toes, ass cracks and tits, THEREBY to get the attention of high-status MEN who are doing the really important things. (We all know how badly that works out for them as they age and lose their "trophy" status, but...they never learn.)

People like Althouse should hate these people like poison, because she's one of those few way out on leading edge of the distribution curve Larry Summmers pointed to, the high-achievers.

As much as wymyn would deny it: Statistically, biology IS Destiny.

Jason said...

Any banks drop Balenciana yet or nah?

Mr. T. said...

Hey Howard, is your name really Brett Blomme?

Richard Aubrey said...

Couple of years ago, a high-end store in NYC got in trouble for stopping a couple of black young people--separate incidents--for shoplifting.
One was a nineteen year old guy with a $600 dollar belt. The other was a woman, twenty-three, iirc, with a purse running $2600. Dropped her entire income tax refund on it.

The security guy had to figure whether it was more likely they were stealing or they were so stupid as to spend....$600 on a belt? I was born in 1945, haven't spent that much on belts in my life and my pants stay up just fine.

The purse? THE PURSE? You could get two hundred attractive, serviceable purses for that amount at Goodwill.

Would you like to be known as a shoplifter, or so stupid as to spend that kind of money on belts and purses? That the two were black--whom we are required to believe are one EBT card away from starvation--made shoplifting even more likely, since they'd never spend money so foolishly.

Of course, they did. It was the confusion over how they acquired their merch that was the fuss, considering they were black. In a way, it was a compliment to their cognitive processes to think they were shoplifting.

White people do this stuff all the time, but, not being black, are presumed to be spending money in an obscenely foolish manner.

All of which is to say that not so many as one Balenciaficianados is going to hesitate an instant on account of the ad. They are too stupid to make the connection, or, if they do make the connection, are so stupid as to think others will think them hip, edgy, and virtuously non-judgmental.

The rest of us, who've been boycotting the place since we were born, will keep on.

At the very least Balenciawhatsit will neither win nor lose revenue. Most likely have a bump in revenue the next six months

n.n said...

They're prepubescent... young adults, simulated adults with the attendant skill and knowledge to distinguish them from younger still. The queerest of the queer... Social progress at the twilight fringe.

Saint Croix said...


What you describe is racist as fuck.

There's a certain type of person who thinks racism is fine, because they love to reduce human beings to statistics and probabilities.

One time, when I was taking a gym class, and I was new, I was named a captain of one of the basketball teams. And I had to pick players. It was idiotic to make me captain, because I didn't know anybody.

So when I made my first pick, I pointed at the tallest black guy in the group.

Everybody laughed at me. Turned out he was the worst basketball player I've ever seen in my life. Unbelievably uncoordinated and not a basketball player. For a few years I had a semi-racist theory that the worst basketball players in the world are black men who have zero interest in the game. That's how bad he was.

I went with the statistical probabilities (height and skin color) and it was useless. And he looked like an athlete! He was more a weight room guy, not a basketball guy. Couldn't jump. I don't want to say it was like Spike Lee playing basketball, but it was ridiculous.

Now imagine it was my job to coach a high school basketball team. And I was hired from my previous job of lazy fucking security guard. And so I'm a lazy high school basketball coach. And I do zero investigation into the skills of basketball players.

Instead, I introduce a lazy theory that all I need to do to succeed is put a bunch of tall black people out on the court.

How long would I keep that job, do you reckon?

Richard Aubrey said...

Saint Croix.
Missed the point. The issue of the two young folks in NYC got a lot of ink because of the trope that blacks are always followed around stores because they're thought to be shoplifters.
My point is...they weren't shop lifters. They were as dumb as white people who actually pay money for this stuff.
But the security guy must have thought they were smarter than that and had shoplifted the belt or purse.
As I say, in a way, a compliment. You're not as stupid as the people who pay for this stuff.

That being said, one kid was nineteen and the likelihood he had nothing else requiring, say, $570 to fix was pretty slim. The other was a twenty-three year old college student and...must have had some other place to put the diff between that and a purse suitable for college, maybe $2550. They weren't rich white folks from the Hamptons.

That's how dumb buying for brand show is. And that means the idiots who do their shopping at Balenc.....whichever aren't going to stop because of this ad. In fact, there'll probably be an increase in traffic.