The model posted photos from a campaign for the Spanish high-fashion brand on Instagram before swiftly removing the post due to the backlash that came with it.
The high-end fashion brand is being criticised for a photoshoot featuring children holding teddy bears dressed in BDSM-style attire.
Critics have knocked Balenciaga for the striking resemblance of their teddy bear to BDSM material.
One user commented: “Can’t believe these celebrities have no care for the children at all! You work with a label that have sexually exploited children in their ad campaigns! But because the people spoke up they’ve apologised … they wouldn’t have otherwise and you puppets are ok with it all?! [sic]”
Balenciaga has apologised for the troubling pictures, issuing a statement that suggests Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti is responsible for their contentious advertising campaign.
The statement reads: “We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused. Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms.
‘We apologize for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign. We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot. We strongly condemn the abuse of children in any form. We stand for children’s safety and well-being.”
Photographer Gabriele Galimberti also responded to the criticisms, denying that he had any input on the creative direction of the photoshoot.
“I am not in a position to comment [on] Balenciaga’s choices, but 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,” he wrote in an Instagram statement.
As of the time of this report, Hadid is yet to make an official statement.
BDSM: (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism) s*xual activity involving such practices as the use of physical restraints, the granting and relinquishing of control, and the infliction of pain.