Parent of Child in Perverse Balenciaga Ad Defends Shoot


    The father of the British youngster who is the subject of a BDSM-themed, creepy Balenciaga advertising campaign is affirming the photoshoot's authenticity and insisting his daughter as well as other children “had a fantastic time” when they posed for pictures.

    He requested to remain anonymous but revealed to Daily Mail that he was present during the photoshoot which he described as “an enjoyable day out,” and said that the photos based on BDSM were captured “totally out of context.”

    “No parent would actively encourage the child to take part in something which was pornographic, and I think the publicity surrounding what happened has been blown out of all proportion,” the man claimed.

    Balenciaga's latest ad campaign included images of children with teddy bears dressed in bondage costumes. One of the photos contained an unsettling hidden feature — paper sheets with the text of two U.S. Supreme Court cases: U.S. v. Williams that made child pornography illegal, and Ashcroft V. Free Speech Coalition, that made child porn a protected speech.

    The designer brand and the photographer Gabriele Galimberti, were subject to an online storm of criticism over “glamorizing” child abuse.

    The dad of the kid that posed in the photographs said Galimberti was “innocent” of any wrongdoing and later revealed that all of the children belonged to Balenciaga employees.

    “I feel desperately sorry for Gabriele, this had nothing directly to do with him and he was merely taking the photographs as requested by Balenciaga,” said the designer. “The parents of the children were at the shoot and they approved of what took place.”

    “Gabriele is an accomplished photographer and no way does he deserve the abuse he has been getting, the parents all knew what they were doing and the children had a fantastic time on the shoot,” the father said.

    “His [sic] innocent and has been drawn into all this unfairly,” the man said. “It was a really enjoyable day but it has now all been ruined because people have taken it all out of context and created an international media storm.”

    “If I felt at any time that it was inappropriate, I would have stepped in and I'm sure the other parents would have done the same, but no one did,” the father insists.

    The Balenciaga brand on Tuesday released an apology via Instagram after briefly deleting its Instagram account completely.

    Galimberti took to Instagram to discuss the issue, saying, “I must stress that I was not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither choose the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same.”


    “As a photographer, I was only and solely requested to lit [sic] the given scene, and take the shots according to my signature style,” said the photographer. “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.”

    The photographer added that he had “no connection with the photo where a Supreme Court document appears.”

    “That one was taken in another set by other people and and [sic] was falsely associated with my photos,” Galimberti insists.

    In the meantime, the public is demanding Kim Kardashian, model Bella Hadid, along with the actress Nicole Kidman — who participated in the company's celebrity-studded Paris runway show — protest the company's horrifying advertisements.


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