Amidst the ongoing controversy surrounding fashion line Balenciaga’s use of children in a sexualized photo shoot, protestors in Dallas hung a banner blocking the entrance to the store’s NorthPark Center location.
The white banner was emblazoned with the word “Pedophiles” in red lettering.
The incident at the Dallas Balenciaga store is the latest in a series of similar moves and protests by individuals disturbed by the Spanish designer’s actions.
As reported previously by The Dallas Express, Balenciaga has come under fire for its depiction of two very young girls in a recent print ad campaign for its Spring/Summer 2023 collection.
Both children were seen clad in Balenciaga apparel clutching teddy bears in recognizable BDSM gear.
In a separate photo, Balenciaga also featured one of its handbags atop a cluttered desk. Some of the documents in the photo contained excerpts from a 2008 United States Supreme Court decision which held that a broad federal statute prohibiting the offering or requesting of child pornography was not unconstitutional.
Balenciaga’s flagship stores across the world have become the scenes of protests against the sexualization of children.
Outside their New York City location, protesters stood with signs that read, “Hands off our kids!” and “Protect Our Children. Don’t Sexualize Them.”
In an interview with FNTV, one of the protesters claimed she was in “complete shock” when she saw the Balenciaga ads featuring the young girls.
“I was like, ‘Wow, they went that far for profit,'” she remarked. “Our silent protest is our way of showing support for the children. Somebody has to stand up for them.”
Celebrities are using their voices to support protests as well. Hollywood actress AnnaLynne McCord led a protest outside another flagship Balenciaga location, this time in Beverly Hills, California.
She announced her protest on Instagram by posting, “If you are against sexual exploitation of children, we’d love to have you!”
Photos of the protest showed McCord holding a sign that read, “Just Why??????” Another protester at the event held a sign that read, “Pedophilia is not fashion.”
Notably absent among celebrity protests is the voice of celebrity Salma Hayek, whose husband, Francois-Henri Pinault, is the CEO and chairman of the global luxury group Kering, the parent company of Balenciaga.
Another Balenciaga store near Beverly Hills was hit by graffiti vandalism that featured a rudimentary drawing of two children with the headline, “Children R Not Sexual Objects.”
The protests against Balenciaga have even taken social media by storm. A reported 3.6 million people watched as Fort Worth attorney Gianna Avalos took a pair of scissors to her Balenciaga bag on Tiktok.
“This is basically my everyday bag. … It’s not going to be anymore,” said Avalos as she cut the straps off her black tote.
“I’m extremely embarrassed to say that I gave $1,500 to a child [no audio] company,” Avalos stated.
In an interview with Insider after the video went viral, Avalos said, “There is a reason why I didn’t throw away, repurpose, donate, or sell the bag. I no longer desired for this bag to have a place in our society.”
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, after the outrage began, Balenciaga quickly issued a public statement and immediately terminated the ad campaign.
“We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused,” the fashion brand posted on Instagram. “Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms.”
In an Instagram post, the company also apologized “for displaying unsettling documents in [its] campaign” and pointed fingers at the ad’s photographer for the uproar surrounding the Supreme Court case documents.