Balenciaga ads with BDSM teddy bears, child pornography spark outrage


“We could have done things differently.”

Strict guidelines are in place for child models working in Victoria and NSW according to Bianca Birnbaum, National Talent Manager for Bettina Talent Agency, which operates a children’s modelling division.

Loading

“Employers must send over their creative briefs, storyboards, a risk assessment and a call sheet to the relevant child employment body, to be approved before employment commences,” Birnbaum says.

The agency also operates in Queensland, where Birnbaum says there are fewer restrictions. “The rules in other states are less strict, however we do ask our clients to send over photos of what the kids would be asked to wear and tell us as much information about their shoot as possible, before we even send them suggestions of models.”

“We also advise parents that they must stay and supervise their child on set at all times. Their child is never to be out of their sight – not even if they need to move the car, get a coffee, go to the toilet.”

“Something like the Balenciaga shoot could slip through the cracks in some states if the producers are not up front about the details of their shoot or if a parent doesn’t speak up on set. But it is less likely here in Australia.”

For Rosewarne, the Balenciaga campaign is the latest example of fashion’s troubled relationship with children, stretching back to the infamous 1980 Calvin Klein jeans campaign featuring a15-year-old Brooke Shields saying : “Do you know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”

“Balenciaga is just one of infinite brands that have pushed the boundaries of taste and acceptability this way,” Rosewarne says. “They’re not even the first to bring children and sex together in a campaign.”

In an interview with US Vogue last year Shields said that at the time she was unaware of the innuendo.

“At 56, I can go back and look at the camera and say: ‘Oh well they’re zooming in and yeah it’s sort of on my crotch area and then it comes to my face. Like okay,’” she said. “But sex has sold since the dawn of time.”

“On the one hand, I don’t think you could get away with a lot of what I did in the eighties now – but by the same token, so much more is done now than what we would’ve ever dreamt of doing.”

Former child model Cheyenne Tozzi who appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar aged 13 and went on to appear on the covers of Vogue, GQ and Cosmopolitan has condemned the Balenciaga shoot.

“The protection of children is paramount at all times,” Tozzi says. “It goes without saying that these images are grossly unacceptable. Although there are multiple third parties involved, it is inevitably the responsibility of the brand to sign off on the collateral.”

Rosewarne says concerns about the welfare of the children featured in the campaign should not be escalated because of the classification by many online commentators of the advertisements featuring children carrying the BDSM teddy bear bags as child pornography.

“In discussions of sexualisation of children we need to understand that this is an adult interpretation of what’s happening,” she says. “For the children in the photographs it’s going to be a modelling job like any other. They’re just holding teddy bears.”

“I don’t think this single campaign necessarily necessitates any guidelines beyond what currently exist.”

Kim Kardashian walked in the Balenciaga show on July 6, 2022 in Paris.

The Georgian designer Demna currently remains as creative director at Balenciaga which is owned by French luxury conglomerate Kering, also the owners of Gucci and Alexander McQueen. The company does not release revenue information for Balenciaga, but HSBC estimates the fashion house received about €1.76 billion ($2.75 billion) in sales in 2021.

People have been fired for less. In 1997 then Balenciaga designer Josephus Thimister was fired by the brand’s former owners after some members of the audience at a runway show walked out because the music was too loud.

If Demna stays it is the latest temperamental mood swing in the fashion industry. Model and content creator Tanja Gacic sees a shoot for Vogue Japan in 2001 she took part in as a 20-year-old, with photographer Terry Richardson, who faced allegations of sexual assault in 2017, as a reminder of fashion’s challenges. In the shoot Gacic posed with teddy bears.

“Watching this Balenciaga saga unfold reminds me just how far removed from reality my industry is sometimes, how myopically attuned to a different value system where being perceived as cool, well dressed and important tops any moral or ethical compass,” Gacic posted to Instagram.

“I don’t see this as luxury fashion,” she said by phone. “It’s abhorrent. We need to evaluate where fashion is going.”

Make the most of your health, relationships, fitness and nutrition with our Live Well newsletter. Get it in your inbox every Monday.





Source link

Denial of responsibility! planetcirculate is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.