As Balenciaga’s reputation continues to be torn to shreds across the internet, artistic director Demna has finally spoken out. On Friday (December 2), he issued a statement regarding the brand’s latest campaign photoshoots. As you’ll recall, they feature images of teddy bears in bondage gear.

Upon seeing the photos, consumers were quick to express outrage, accusing the fashion house of abusing children, among other things. Several celebrities were quick to distance themselves from Balenciaga as well. However, Kanye West has made his undying support clear on social media.

On his own Instagram page, Demna wrote, “I want to personally apologize for the wrong artistic choice of concept for the gifting campaign with the kids. I take my responsibility. It was inappropriate to have kids promote objects that had nothing to do with them.

“As much as I would sometimes like to provoke a thought through my work, I would NEVER have an intention to do that with such an awful subject as child abuse that I condemn,” he went on. “Period.”

The 41-year-old went on to note that this is an experience he’s seeking to learn from. Additionally, he’s hoping to engage with child protection organizations to contribute and help with the issue.

“I apologize to anyone offended by the visuals,” Demna said in his conclusion. “Balenciaga has guaranteed that adequate measures will be taken not only to avoid similar mistakes in the future, but also to take accountability in protecting child welfare in every way we can.”

Interestingly, this statement comes shortly after Balenciaga filed a lawsuit against the marketing agency that assisted with their ad campaigns. In response to that, the same company has accused the retail chain of attempting to “shift the blame.”

While speaking with insiders, TMZ found out that North Six employees reportedly weren’t present at the time of the final staging. They also are said to have had nothing to do with set design or any creative power. Rather, they oversaw logistics like crew, equipment, and locations.

Currently, it remains unclear what the future holds for Demna as artistic director and Balenciaga as a brand. Let us know what you think could be in store next in the comments, and check back later for more pop culture news updates.

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