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What to Know About Balenciaga’s Campaign Controversy

Mr. Galimberti claimed that he has been bombarded with hate mail, death threats, job cancellations, and his personal details, including a phone number, since the Gift Shop campaign images have been released.

“At the moment, nobody wants to be associated with my name because my name is associated with the word pedophilia everywhere,” Mr. Galimberti said. “I’ve been working on my personal projects for 25 years, and then everything is destroyed by this campaign. I’m not sleeping well. My family’s completely worried.”

The long-term repercussions remain to be seen, but already, the trade publication Business of Fashion on Nov. 28 revoked an award it had planned to give to Demna, saying it held “the safety of children in the highest regard.” In the United States, home to the world’s largest luxury market, the reputational damage from the continuing firestorm could be seismic for Balenciaga, a brand more used to being lauded for its ability to tap into the cultural moment than excoriated for its missteps.

Although Kering doesn’t break down the annual revenue for Balenciaga, HSBC estimates that the fashion house generated about 1.76 billion euros, or $1.81 billion, in sales in 2021. There were no plush bondage bear handbags on sale as of Monday. Balenciaga’s website. There was also a dog bowl with spikes available for $848, a trio of Christmas tree ornaments including a puffer jacket and a sneaker for $740, and a candleholder that looks like a empty soda can for $625.

The social media ire has moved beyond the brand to envelop swaths of the global fashion industry — including the celebrities who are often its billboards — for not being more openly critical of Balenciaga’s provocative marketing strategy.

It’s not surprising that Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, has been drawn into the controversy along with Ms. Kardashian, his ex-wife. Both have longstanding relationships to Demna and Balenciaga.

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