Scandal plagued French fashion house Balenciaga is expected to report devastating profits this week after TikTok users showed that the brand was marking down its high-end items for as much as 70 percent off.
This comes as one of the brand’s biggest ambassadors, Kim Kardashian, slashes prices on her the brand on her clothing resale site, Kardashian Kloset. Like many, Kardashian cut ties with Balenciaga in December.
In December, the company’s creative director and chief executive officer were forced to apologize for an advertising campaign that featured children with teddy bears in BDSM clothing and allusions to child pornography.
Creative director Denma said: ‘I want to personally apologize for the wrong artistic choice of concept for the gifting campaign with the kids.’
Last year, Balenciaga was accused of participating in a pedophile ad campaign which has resulted in sales across the country
Among the items being resold by Kim Kardashian is this rate Belanciaga dress that has been marked down from $13,000 to $10,000
According to HSBC, the fourth-quarter results for Balenciaga’s parent company Kering are likely to be ‘as bad as it gets’ with the controversy severely impacted the company’s holiday sales. The report is due out on February 15.
The HSBC report, first referenced by WWD, points to slowing growth in the UK, US and China.
In December, numerous TikTok personalities took video showing the massive markdowns taking place on Balenciaga goods at department stores and the company’s own flagship stores.
Reality star and TikToker Holly Scarfone posted a clip showing a collection of Balenciaga purses bundled together on a table inside of a Bloomingdale’s store. It’s unclear where the store is located.
She titled the video: ‘Never thought I’d see the day.’ Scarfone says: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen a designer being so heavily marked down.’
While another social media user, @St3vensuniverse, posted a video showing sneakers and leather shoes, including high heels, bearing the Balenciaga name being marked down at Nordstrom. That video was titled: ‘Would y’all still buy Balenciaga?’
Fine Britches, another TikToker, posted a video showing a collection of Balenciaga sneakers on table at Neiman Marcus advertising: ‘Save up to 50 percent off!’ He wrote in the caption: ‘Balenciaga really taking Ls.’
Hulu star Kim Kardashian has slashed prices on her Balenciaga clothing on her resale site in recent weeks
The markdowns on Balenciaga goods are felt across the country in department stores and in the brand’s flagship shops
One TikTok user showed a Balenciaga store dimly lit and understaffed despite advertising a sale
Reality star Holly Scarfone posted a video showing Balenciaga’s purses scattered around a department store in the wake of the scandal
Prior to the fire sale, many TikTok users had gone viral as the posted videos showing them destroying their Balenciaga wears
Department stores appear to be following the lead set up one of the brand’s former figure heads, Kim Kardashian, who cut ties with Balenciaga following the scandal
In an actual Balenciaga store, TikToker Hannah Emerson posted a video in early December showing the location advertising a ‘Holiday Sale.’ Emerson noted in her video how dimly lit the store was, showing that it looked closed and how few staff were working.
Prior to the fire sale, many TikTok users had gone viral as the posted videos showing them destroying their Balenciaga wears including KamillonT who burned her sneakers as another, Gianna Avalos, cut up a tote bag.
Department stores appear to be following the lead set up one of the brand’s former figure heads, Kim Kardashian, who cut ties with Balenciaga following the scandal.
On her resale site, Kardashian Kloset, the reality star has slashed prices on items such as a Balenciaga hoodie, where she knocked $200 off the original price and sweater, marked down from $895 to $445.
Another sweater is down from $495 to $295 while a coat marked as ‘RARE’ is marked down from $12,995 to $10,395.
Meanwhile on social media, disenchanted consumers are burning their Balenciaga goods in protest
The website Children Salon is charging $237 for a pair of Balenciaga shoes, marked down from $475.
In November, Kardashian’s former husband, Kanye West, a former Balenciaga rep, was also cutting prices. Balenciaga discontinued their relationship with the rapper following his anti-Semitic remarks.
West posted a video online in which he advertised Balenciaga hoodies that he was selling for just $20. The sale did not appear to have anything to do with the campain.
West said in the clip: ‘So what we do here is, I’ve cut up 100 hoodies. From Yeezy, from Balenciaga, from stuff we did with Gap, from stuff we did with Adidas, and everything we do is gonna cost $20.’
Vandalism on an empty store on Rodeo Drive last night in a clear protest against the brand, whose own store is nearby
The photographer who took pictures of children carrying teddy bears wearing S&M gear for Balenciaga’s adverts said that the kids who modeled for him were children of employees – who were present when the photos were taken.
Italian documentary photographer Gabriele Galimberti, 45, has insisted he did not think the images he took were disturbing – despite receiving death threats and being called a pedophile when the photos were published.
Galimberti, whose work has been featured in National Geographic, Le Monde and Marie Claire, said that he was shocked by the virulent response, but stressed that he had nothing to do with styling the shoot or selecting the theme.
‘I can recognize if we are going too far or not, but in that occasion I trust them and I didn’t see anything so wrong,’ he told The Guardian.
He said the children in the photos were the offspring of Balenciaga employees, who accompanied them to the shoot and did not raise any concerns.
‘When they saw those bags, everybody was telling them they were punk,’ he said.
‘Nobody ever mentioned BDSM.’
In a statement following the initial fallout, Balenciaga apologized and said that investigations into the ad campaigns were ongoing.
It said the papers featuring the legal text on child pornography were props from a third party and that it had filed a complaint against the inclusion of the ‘unapproved documents.’
Kering CEO Cedric Charbit said the label had decided not to pursue litigation.
‘I want to personally reiterate my sincere apologies for the offense caused and take my responsibility,’ said Charbit.
THE BALENCIAGA SCANDAL: BONDAGE BEARS, CHILD PORN DOCS AND AN ARTIST KNOWN FOR DEPICTING NAKED KIDS
The Bondage Bears Christmas campaign
The scandal erupted when Balenciaga released its 2022 Holiday ad campaign that featured children posing with its Plush Toy Bag. The bags look like teddy bears and are dressed in BDSM gear.
In the photo shoot, the kids also appeared surrounded by empty wine and champagne glasses.
The distinctly adult themes immediately troubled many who asked why children had ever been used.
Balenciaga ignored the scandal at first and seemingly allowed the photographer who was involved, Gabriele Galimberti, to take the heat.
He released a statement saying he had no control over the content of the shoot and eventually, Balenciaga released its own statement agreeing with him and taking responsibility for the campaign.
It has now been pulled from the internet.
The hidden child porn documents
After the BDSM bears fiasco, eagle-eyed critics started examining the rest of Balenciaga’s campaigns closely.
They soon discovered that in the background of an image from the Spring ’23 campaign was a printout of a Supreme Court ruling on whether or not internet child porn can be legally considered free speech.
On the back of the bears scandal, many critics said it pointed to a troubling pattern within Balenciaga.
Balenciaga was quick to blame North Six, a production company that helped arrange the shoot, for the inclusion of those documents.
They claimed that they entrusted all of the props from the photoshoot to North Six, and that their team was assured everything that was included was fake.
The troubling book of artist whose work depicts naked, castrated toddlers
Balenciaga is yet to answer for the inclusion of a book by Michael Borremans in the background of two of the images from the Spring ’23 campaign.
Borremans is a Belgian painter whose work includes a troubling 2017 series called Fire From The Sun.
It depicts naked toddlers – some of them castrated – playing in a group and at times alone.
Lawyers for the brand are yet to address DailyMail.com’s questions about how the book ended up on the photoshoot.
In this image from Balenciaga’s scrapped Spring ’23 campaign, Isabelle Huppert sits in front of a stack of books including one that celebrates Michael Borremans, a Belgian painter whose work is known to include depictions of castrated toddlers
Borremans’ other work includes his 2017 series Fire From The Sun, which features castrated toddlers and babies holding what look like severed limbs, while playing together nude in a large group