Kim Kardashian Said She Was Evaluating Her Partnership With Balenciaga After BDSM Scandal. She's Already Made Some Changes

screenshot kuwtk
(Image credit: E!)

Some of Kim Kardashian’s most memorable looks in recent years have come courtesy of Balenciaga. That’s why, when the high-end fashion brand became embroiled in controversy over an ad campaign that featured children in photos featuring BDSM imagery, the public looked to the reality TV star for a reaction. It took a few days, which The Kardashians star also gave a reason for, as she announced that she was re-evaluating her relationship with the fashion house after being “shaken by the disturbing images.” That wasn’t just lip service either, as it seems she’s already made some changes.

Kim Kardashian might have taken her time before responding to the controversial images, which many said promoted child abuse, but the SKIMS founder said she wanted “to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened” before making a public statement. However, TMZ reports that she'd actually already taken action against the fashion house in turning down their offer to partner for a 2023 Balenciaga campaign, even before announcing her decision to re-evaluate the professional relationship. The offer had reportedly been presented before the ads went live.

In addition to turning down a campaign for the new year, Kim Kardashian has also reportedly been reaching out to other designers to seek out replacements for the Balenciaga outfits she’d planned to wear while attending multiple functions in the coming months. Kardashian is not under contract with the fashion house and “isn’t directly making money from the company,” per TMZ. 

However, the public has noticed that some celebrities already noted to be taking part in the brand’s Spring 2023 campaign — including Nicole Kidman and Bella Hadid — have remained mum on the topic. (Though Hadid did delete some photos from a previous campaign from Instagram, per Page Six.) Meanwhile, country singer Jason Aldean’s wife, Brittany, posted photos to her own social media account of “trash day,” in which she can be seen taking out clear trash bags containing Balenciaga items.

Balenciaga issued an apology in the aftermath of the controversial ads, which featured children dressed in Balenciaga Kids holding plush teddy bear bags dressed in bondage-inspired outfits. The brand said the campaigns had been removed from all platforms, and a lawsuit had been filed against the parties who were responsible for “creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot.”

While Kim Kardashian may not have a current contract with the fashion house, there’s no questioning that Balenciaga was a favorite of hers. The brand created some of her biggest looks, including the Batman-esque head-to-toe piece from the 2021 Met Gala, and the all-black outfits she and her now ex-husband Kanye West coordinated for his Donda listening parties. North West even wore a mock version of her mother’s famous “caution tape dress” when trolling Kim on TikTok. It will be interesting to see what direction she goes in now, fashion-wise, and wheter she will reteam with Balenciaga in the future after this scandal's waves have subsided.

You can keep up with Kim Kardashian and her famous family by streaming the first two seasons of The Kardashians with a Hulu subscription. Also be sure to check out what’s coming to television and streaming in the new year with our 2023 TV schedule

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.