Owner of Balenciaga Parent Company Under Scrutiny for “Disturbing” Child Images on Christie’s Auction Web Site - The Jewish Voice
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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Owner of Balenciaga Parent Company Under Scrutiny for “Disturbing” Child Images on Christie’s Auction Web Site

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Edited by: TJVNews.com

Finding itself in the middle of a public relations maelstrom, fashion house Balenciaga jettisoned its holiday ad campaign, featuring children holding teddy bears in bondage costumes.

The most recent revelation focuses on the other companies that Pinault owns. One of the other companies that he owns is Artemis which in turn owns the iconic Christie’s auction house.

Pinault himself also owns an extensive art collection that features the work of a team of artists known as the Chapman Brothers. Their artwork appears on the Christie’s web site and features mannequins of naked children of both genders engaging in erotic activities and in sexual positions.

Newsweek reported that the British brothers’ deliberately provocative work has been sold via Christie’s for more than two decades, achieving prices that range from hundreds of dollars to more than $500,000.

Among the pieces sold was the videotape of a pornographic film, shot in 1996, which showed actresses having sex with the severed head of an adult male mannequin, according to the Newsweek report.  It sold back in 2001 for the equivalent of more than $1,300.

Images of the art pieces were circulated on Twitter and Reddit this week, with users of the social media platforms branding them “disturbing” and “shocking.” Newsweek reported.

Newsweek also reported that the artists came to prominence in the 1990s as leading members of the so-called Young British Artist generation. They were nominated for the Turner Prize in 2003. In an interview with the image licensing service Artimage in 2018, they said of their work: “We reflect upon the conditions of our experience, first as tragedy then as farce.”

The harsh condemnations against the photos of the child models have been widespread, with the hashtag #cancelBalenciaga trending across Twitter and TikTok.  Many have pointed fingers at the brand and its creative director, Demna, and said they have given their tacit approval to child exploitation.

After nearly a week of total silence despite calls from her own fans to address the controversy, Kim Kardashian finally condemned Balenciaga in a Twitter statement on Sunday, admitting she felt “disgusted” by the ads, one of which featured children holding BDSM-clad teddy bears, as was reported by Breitbart. Another ad that featured an office setting using adults, which was separate from the teddy bear campaign, referenced the Supreme Court case known as United States v. Williams which is a ruling that upheld the PROTECT Act. This act increased federal protections against child pornography.

“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 began, Breitbart reported.

“As a mother of four, I have been shaken by the disturbing images. The safety of children must be held with the highest regard and any attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society — period,” she added.

Breitbart also reported that Brittany Aldean, wife of country music star Jason Aldean, publicly trashed her Balenciaga gear presumably in response to the ads featuring children holding teddy bears clad in bondage gear.

“It’s trash day @Balenciaga,” Aldean captioned in an Instagram post that showed her carrying two clear bags filled with Balenciaga gear.

“Show ’em how to ‘walk the walk’ babe!” her husband, Jason, said in response, according to the Breitbart report.

Well over a dozen verified accounts with thousands and millions of followers cheered Aldean’s move and said they would follow her lead.

“Burning all mine to the ground!” responded Amanda Ensing of Elevate Beauty, who boasts 1.4 million followers.

Meanwhile, model Bella Hadid, actress Nicole Kidman, and singer Dua Lipa, who all starred in Balenciaga’s fashion show, have remained silent on the matter, Breitbart reported.

Hadid  has deleted an Instagram carousel featuring several photos from her recent Balenciaga campaign, but has yet to speak a word regarding the brand’s advertisement scandal.

Now it has been reported that Balenciaga is owned by parent company Kering, which is owned by Francois Henri Pinault and his wife, actress Selma Hayek. Pinault and his Gucci Group acquired a 91 percent stake in Balenciaga in July 2001.

Besides Balenciaga, Kering owns Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Bioni as well as Gucci. They also own such jewelry companies as Boucheronm Pomellato, DoDo and Qeelin.

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