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Balenciaga signs partnership with children’s advocacy group following ad scandal involving kids in BDSM attire

Balenciaga has signed a partnership with the National Children's Alliance following backlash they received over advertisements accused of alluding to child abuse.

Luxury fashion house Balenciaga has announced it will partner with a children’s advocacy group after facing backlash over advertisements accused of ties to child abuse and child pornography. 

On Wednesday, Balenciaga and the Kering Foundation announced they would be entering a three-year partnership with the National Children’s Alliance (NCA), a nonprofit based out of Washington D.C.

The program will focus on three main goals: Supporting National Children Alliance Mental Health Institute helping children heal from trauma by facilitating a significant increase in access to Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Training (TF-CBT), providing education for Balenciaga about child protection and actions adults can take to promote the safety and well-being of children, and raising public awareness on child abuse and child protection and promoting a happy, healthy childhood.


The press release for the partnership claims that support from Balenciaga will allow the NCA to train almost 2,000 child abuse professionals and could provide benefits to around 55,000 children receiving mental healthcare. 

"We were confronted with the reality and magnitude of childhood trauma during our listening tour where we engaged with several leading organizations and experts in the field of childhood trauma," Balenciaga President and Chief Executive Officer Cédric Charbit said in a statement. 


He added that the experience has enabled Balenciaga to learn and affirmed the company’s commitment to have a positive and lasting impact on kids and their future. 

The NCA serves as the national association and accrediting body of Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) and serves 386,000 children a year across the U.S. 

In 2022, the NCA created the Mental Health Institute to increase access to "evidence based, trauma focused mental health treatment" for kids. 

The announcement comes after Balenciaga apologized for two concurrent controversies surrounding imagery found in their advertisements. 


In an advertisement for the Balenciaga Adidas bag collaboration, the product was placed atop a desk covered in documents. One of the documents contained text of the Supreme Court case United States v. Williams, a case focused on the distribution of child pornography.

"We apologize for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign," a brand statement published on Instagram read. "We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot. We strongly condemn abuse of children in any form. We stand for children safety and well-being."

Balenciaga also apologized for a separate ad campaign that featured photos of child models holding teddy bears dressed in bondage gear.

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