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The Problem With Balenciaga...

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

I don't really have much to say about the brand itself, I just wanted to point out that their target audience is probably not who you think it is. I have no problem with creatives getting paid for their work, but I have to question whether or not pedophilia can be considered art.

This is a thesis, not a blog post. Shit is long af and you're free to quit but if you want your feelings hurt at your own risk, stick around, grab a drink and buckle up.

It's no secret that high-end luxury brands don't really make their products for the masses. The general public's obsession with these brands is likely due to the fact that they're marketed towards the "elite" - you know, the people on Epstein's list. Of course, this is all just hearsay. It really makes you think, why the f#ck do we like these brands?

Luxury brands have their own niche-specific target audience, people who have political and economical influence. People can afford to spend $3M per year because they are at the top of the capitalistic food chain. It’s an actual nightmare really because very few of these people are role models. I was very disappointed by their ad because the more you think about it, the more it infuriates me. It could have been marketed so well without including a child; Fifty shades of gray shit with "netflix and chill" type of mantra. It's not what you sell, it's who you sell it to and how you present it.

As a person who works in marketing, it's pretty much my job to make sure my brands tick all society's boxes and then some. I make mistakes too but girl... please.

Let’s break it down...

Balenciaga is created by a Spanish fashion house designer called Cristóbal Balenciaga Eizaguirr. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Balenciaga is now owned by Kering, a powerhouse actually. The original Regina of luxury houses, small portfolio, big wallet type of clique. I am actually inspired, it takes a lot of money to run these brands. Kering owns Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin…

It's Starting To Make Sense...

Gucci had a racist scandal in 2019, the sweater incident. If anyone remembers, Gucci released a scandalous collection in 2019 and immediately issued an apology. Let’s not forget their shitty press release cover-up that literally highlighted how nobody had an issue with the sweater because it had been on the shelves for months and how if someone says something is blackface then it is blackface. Zero accountability whatsoever.

"Then they bring in Naomi to say 'Hey, they didn't mean to be racist but look, we are giving out scholarships to people in Africa who want to pursue fashion.' Wow, thanks Gucci.

I get that every company in the face of crisis wants to turn the tables and show people that they didn't mean to offend anyone, only please their loyal customers who carry the brand's lifeline. Unfortunately, we live in the social media era where everything is fickle and people can't see the issues behind shitty marketing strategies."

We all have a corporate responsibility, as a business owner, it is your job to pay it forward but do we need to know right after a scandal? And the audacity to call this a silver lining, Naomi, please. “I am sorry you feel offended by this but hey look, free money in Africa…”

I am grateful that Africa is getting opportunities but we are not a marketing fish hook used to reel in the social media flock.

Daniel Lee allegedly left Bottega Veneta due to being racist.

In 2015, Two employees have filed a lawsuit against Kering Americas Inc., Alexander McQueen Trading America Inc., and others alleging racial discrimination, among other causes of action. Read More Here.

If I start talking about the dark side of luxury powerhouses, we might be here all day.

So, back to Balenciaga, I actually love the brand. It has some iconic designs I gravitate towards to. I just do not understand why, as a brand with millions of resources at their disposal, they choose to target and market to people who have zero consideration…

As a business, any business, you create certain products because you know your usual audience will buy them. I am not creating a product with hopes Lisa in Indonesia will buy it. That's not how business works unless you paid Lisa to advertise it for you, then maybe Lisa's friends will proceed to checkout.

This proves that the rest of us just help to amplify that impact. If I buy something Lisa promoted, it doesn't mean this product was made for Lisa or I. It just means we are a part of the ripple effect. Why stick to a cult when you could always make more from this effect?

Balenciaga has managed to build a brand of sex and concupiscence (I’m even surprised I know such a strong word.) with iconic sex symbols like Winnie Harlow and Kim Kardashian waving your flag of "confidence” and “daringness” now more than ever. Knowing who they champion as brand ambassadors makes their ad even more disgusting.

The problem with the elite is that they really have zero sense of reality.Kids get shipped off to boarding schools while their parents throw expensive galas to entertain and stroke each other's egos. They don't understand what it means to want to shelter your children from the harsh realities of this world.

It's no wonder that the elite are out of touch with the rest of us, things like race and morality make no sense to them. They live in a bubble where they are insulated from the harsh realities of the world. They have no idea what it's like to worry about your children being hurt or killed. They don't understand what it's like to live in a world where there is violence and poverty. They're so far removed from the everyday lives of most people that they can't even begin to comprehend the issues that we face. They think this is like Squid Games & Hunger Games had a baby and their baby is a Gemini...

Seriously, people think they create ads for us? We barely spend $100K on ads per month, and we probably pay for their marketing team's coffee section. That could be why they thought it would be great to show performative activism ("I will hire and fire bla bla bla") instead of saying something like, "we thought this would go viral and it actually did, but not in the way we thought."

It's ironic how they were quick to denounce Twitter after the insulin scandal and then put BDSM on teddy bears. The irony of activism in the luxury world is beyond me.

It's easy to buy into the idea that racism, pedophilia and bigotry are someone else's problem. But when we invest in brands that profit from these beliefs, we become a part of the problem.

Do they choose to target the wrong people, or is it difficult to dismantle the toxic cycle of racism and more because of who the companies' OG target audience?"

Is it Kering's fault, or the fault of the actual founders? Who is enjoying the things these brands get canceled for?

It's time to take a hard look at who we're supporting with our money and time and look beyond temporary cancel culture for clicks and likes and learn from these people so that we can be better brands for our communities.

Don't be like Balenciaga and market to the wrong people - those who have no moral compass and don't understand that money doesn't exempt them from responsibility. It'll hurt your business in the long run.

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