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9 December 2022 | Podcasts | Article by Alan Collins

Balenciaga abuse scandal: HJ Talks About Abuse

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Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga has been in the news this week for a campaign they released involving children that have links to bondage, child porn, child abuse and demonic themes. The brand has received a lot of backlash in the media, including from a lot of celebrities that have spoken out about it, and Balenciaga have had to remove campaign and apologise.

Their controversial campaign included:

  • Child’s drawing of devils in the background (identical to the one in insidious)
  • Dogs with padlocks around their necks
  • Tape with two As to misspell Balenciaga so it was showing the word ‘BAAL’ who is demon
  • Carpet positioned and laid out in the same way as a Ouija board

The brand has admitted to ‘grievous errors’ after backlash to campaigns that included images of children holding BDSM teddies

But it doesn’t end there…

The brand is being accused of their recent campaign making links with paedophilia rings, blood ritual, dark religiosity, occultism, racism, cannibalism and demon worshipping …

In 2013, a shoot of a bag is seen to be placed on top of a US Supreme Court document from the case United States v. Williams, 553 U.S. 285 (2008), a decision on child pornography; and in another photoshoot, books about Belgian artist Michaël Borremans (controversially famous for artwork showing people dressed in all-black as they seemingly perform some type of ritual with children involved, and some indecent paintings of children, linking to themes of paedophilia and satanism) are in seen the background of the Balenciaga office.

Common themes reoccurring in the brands photographs:

  • Blood (in bags, stained floor around the set of where photos are taken)
  • Inappropriate items around children
  • Bruising and cuts on models
  • Use of dolls and disturbing teddy bears in runways

Balenciaga are now seeking $25 million in damages from the shoot’s production company, North Six, and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins. Stylist Lotta Volkova (who hasn’t worked with the brand since 2018) was forced to go private on Instagram after it was trawled for proof of satanic behaviour behind Balenciaga walls. Kim Kardashian, who has been the brands well known ambassador, has spoken out on Instagram and said that she is “re-evaluating” her working relationship with the brand.

The Detrimental Effect of Fashion on Children’s Rights – Links to Fast Fashion?

In recent times, it has not been uncommon to see other fast fashion brands hit the headlines with accusations of breaching children’s rights:

  • PLT
  • Primark
  • Shein

If you have been affected by the topics raised in this week’s podcast or would like more information, please get in touch with the Abuse team.

Author bio

Alan Collins


Alan Collins is one of the best known and most experienced solicitors in the field of child abuse litigation and has acted in many high profile cases, including the Jimmy Savile and Haut de la Garenne abuse scandals.  Alan has represented interested parties before public inquiries including the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, and IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse).

Internationally, Alan works in Australia, South East Asia, Uganda, Kenya, and California representing clients in high profile sexual abuse cases. Alan also spoke at the Third Regional Workshop on Justice for Children in East Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok hosted by Unicef and HCCH (Hague Conference on Private International Law).

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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