What do y'all think about the Balenciaga SS23 & Adidas collab "teddy" controversy?

What's your take in the Balenciaga teddy bear controversay?

  • It's harmless

    Votes: 16 2.4%
  • It's disgusting

    Votes: 512 77.6%
  • It's just to garner attention - Balenciaga being Balenciaga

    Votes: 85 12.9%
  • I don't know what to think

    Votes: 42 6.4%
  • What controversay? (links in post)

    Votes: 5 0.8%

  • Total voters
    660

Swanky

Admin
Admin
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Jan 12, 2006
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Bears repeating!
We'd like to leave this thread open, but political conspiracy theories, among other comments need to stop. Discuss the topic only please, let's keep the discussion open and all responses to others need to remain respectful.


Also, let’s stick closely to topic, it really helps preventing tangents and drama.
 
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beauxgoris

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Mar 17, 2006
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I saw somewhere a minor celeb with a garbage bag taking some bag clothing and bags to the curb. I wonder if all of this will bring the brand renaissance to a halt. The resale market has been really high for a while now due to the coveting of the old colors and leathers - but maybe this will cool their market. Will be interesting to see what's next for the brand.
 

Jktgal

Member
Mar 22, 2019
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I want to comment on somebody saying it's stupid to get rid of Bal stuff since it's squandering money, illogical, etc. But people buy things because they value it (there's a whole field in economics analysing factors affecting demand) and most people on the globe would probably think spending more than 50$ on a bag is 'stupid'. A bottle of Loub nail polish may be priced $50 but my value for it is exactly zero - if I get it for free I will use it but won't pay more than zero for it; yet I'll pay $20-30 for polish from another brand.
I also worked in advertising and clearly the campaign is intentional. Who are the target for such campaign? To me it is very clear because child abuse (through pornography, exploitation etc) do exist day to day. There are perpetrators, gatekeepers, closet admirers, all potential sales.
Also admirers of free speech, the-unwoke, art for art's sake, etc, all potential sales.
Also logo people for which logo = value, now introduced to the brand due to it being on news etc.
If I spend a couple of hours researching, no doubt I'l find more consumer segments for which such ad will create/enhance value.
The brand may walk back on said advert now due to backlash from current customers who suddenly realise their value of the brand has diminished, but I am convinced the ad was intentional and had a target consumer in mind.

Edit: I was going to post this in the other thread but I think maybe still relevant in this thread. Which is: for me, I'm looking fwd to prices for older Bals in the 2ndary market to drop and thereby alligns more closely to my value for them, which this brouhaha will likely facilitate.
 
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2cello

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Mar 16, 2017
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Which brings up the point of “desensitization” and “normalization”. Perhaps these parents truly see no harm in posing their kids next to these “punk” bears. One has to ask why some groups of people think there is absolutely nothing wrong and some think there absolutely is. Does physical harm have to occur before something is harmful? How much of it is influenced by “thought leaders” telling us what is avant garde and what is “art”?

If no backlash were to occur, would society then be ok with children with bdsm-esque paraphernalia? Is this how goal posts are moved in society?

I have no answers. Just questions.

Yes, I think this is how goalposts are moved. It’s doesn’t have to be organized as such. Thought leaders is a good term. Ideas just spread by cultural thought leaders and then it becomes a trend and then it becomes normal.
 

AH673

Member
Nov 29, 2021
17
59
I enjoy and learn from all of your posts, and this is no exception. I think what most posts on this thread react to is the juxtaposition of children, not with punk elements, as one member pointed out, but with the BDSM gear, that apparently (I learned this from this thread) lays out a pretty obvious ‘secret’ coded message.

I am horrified that the creative director and associates may have personal Instagram pages filled with far more graphic and objectionable and grotesque images, and I believe that these people should not have been in charge of final vetting of creative decisions. I do think that vetting of those images should have been done with more care. I am also disgusted with the way Balenciaga did not step up to the plate to take entire responsibility of their own ad campaign (I think we disagree on that point). I didn’t think that anyone on this thread equated this with child pornography or supported vigilante behavior of the sort that you mention, but I will reread. I am sure that I am not alone in being grateful for your providing a counterweight to the rest of the thread. :smile:

ETA: I was only aware of and focusing on the child with a bondage bear ad campaign, and I was most disgusting with posts that tried to spread disinformation by mentioning tropes, pizzagate, Soros, woke media, and other unrelated stuff, that I do think is conspiracy theory inspired or adjacent. And, I don’t think that Broadway plays or Balthus, or even this ad, as distasteful as it is, do anything to normalize pedophilia. I do think it’s disgusting that some posts cannot even tolerate the existence of a play that discusses the marginalization of offenders, yes rapists etc, who have served their time in state incarceration. We are supposed to believe in a system of Justice after all. WTF is up with those posts, I really don’t know.
I agree, after someone told me the stylists name, I googled her and saw her posts - well, the professional apple did not fall far from the tree, lets say. Clearly Bal must approve of her style - and probably saw the campaign through the lens of who the stylist is and it's very much in line with her aesthetic, apparently. I think its dark, disturbed, inappropriate and scary myself but this all makes more sense when you see the professional in charge of the scene. She may not be messaging consciously but she clearly has a dark personality and she crossed a line here. I highly doubt there is an organized campaign to solicit in all of this but I agree with the poster who said normalization of images like this is how we become numb to our ethical compass. People are right to be concerned, even if only being alerted by others alarm.
 

TraceySH

Always hunting for the next bag
Feb 28, 2016
4,670
26,336
Thank you for a well written and thoughtful post.

However, it’s hard to believe that a fashion house would mistakenly spell their own name wrong. Surely one of the many many people working on the ad would have said, Hey, our name is spelled wrong?!! Let’s carefully turn the tape so people can see our mistake.

Also, I’m not surprised that the people you spoke with denied attempting this type of controversy. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have spoken against the position the company already put out. Which is really weak in my opinion.

But I do appreciate reading other view points.
And that's kind of the point. When every single advertorial is published, each mm is scrutinized. A single hair or eyelash out of place could warrant a photo tossed for another one, more perfect. Every single pixel of these ads is purposeful, and perfectly aligned with the "vision" to bring to market. To say that anything is sloppy or out of place or a mistake or happenstance is ridiculous, naive, ignorant and uninformed.

People say that fashion is art. But that's not exactly true. Fashion is RETAIL SALES TO CONSUMERS TO MAKE MONEY and cloaks itself as art to sway a consumer to purchase a mostly otherwise ordinary item with romance and evanescence. People are hired to make massive profits by separating you from your money, one way or the other. All this other ethereal narrative is a mirage.
 

jellyv

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Mar 29, 2006
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People say that fashion is art. But that's not exactly true. Fashion is RETAIL SALES TO CONSUMERS TO MAKE MONEY and cloaks itself as art to sway a consumer to purchase a mostly otherwise ordinary item with romance and evanescence. People are hired to make massive profits by separating you from your money, one way or the other. All this other ethereal narrative is a mirage.
How is the art market itself, i.e., art when it enters public spaces and commerce, any different? If you substitute the word "art" in the above for the word "fashion" the comments are still correct. Art is a commodity. The problem with this campaign isn't about whether it's art or not--it doesn't get a free pass, period, because of social norms.
 
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SpeedyJC

Just a gal who loves purses, clocks and cats
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I want to comment on somebody saying it's stupid to get rid of Bal stuff since it's squandering money, illogical, etc.
People can do what they want. The money was already squandered anyways. Lets be honest no one here needs these bags to survive. If people want to sell or throw it in the trash that is their decision.

I personally do not care if people sell or continue to use their bags and buys new ones. It's not my business.
 

SpeedyJC

Just a gal who loves purses, clocks and cats
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People say that fashion is art. But that's not exactly true. Fashion is RETAIL SALES TO CONSUMERS TO MAKE MONEY and cloaks itself as art to sway a consumer to purchase a mostly otherwise ordinary item with romance and evanescence. People are hired to make massive profits by separating you from your money, one way or the other. All this other ethereal narrative is a mirage.
I disagree with that. Fashion 100 percent can be art.
 
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TraceySH

Always hunting for the next bag
Feb 28, 2016
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How is the art market itself, i.e., art when it enters commerce, any different? If you substitute the word "art" in the above for the word "fashion" the comments are still correct. The problem with this campaign isn't about whether it's art or not--it doesn't get a free pass, period, because of social norms.
Real, authentic art, to me at least, isn’t widely received and able to be mass marketed. It’s very specific and unique, and most times the artists are disinterested in a goal of making millions of dollars in stock options, having multiple homes and Ferraris as a result of their consumer sales to the masses. Again, to me, the goal of art in its purest form is to evoke emotion, not to evoke retail sales to laud to board members for quarterly earnings reports.
 

jellyv

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The goal is still sales #1. Not just appreciation from afar. It’s all about money. All of it. Like I said, any “art” is secondary if that.
^That's not the perspective of art historians and scholars of material culture, if you're speaking of fashion. Your notion of art being pure and untainted by commerce is the height of romanticization, which you just complained about above concerning fashion. If you know artists from any period of time in history--they like (or liked) to eat.

To topic, I think you were assailing anyone's supposed defense of this bad campaign on the basis of it being "art." I'm saying its moral meaning and impact is totally unrelated to whether it is or isn't art.
 
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SpeedyJC

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The goal is still sales #1. Not just appreciation from afar. It’s all about money. All of it. Like I said, any “art” is secondary if that.
And you do not think art is about the money?

I do not mean to sound rude so please do not take it that way but you do not know much about the world of art it seems.
 
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TraceySH

Always hunting for the next bag
Feb 28, 2016
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And you do not think art is about the money?

I do not mean to sound rude so please do not take it that way but you do not know much about the world of art it seems.
My best friends are the largest art dealers in the country so yeah, I’ve got plenty of backdrop and lots of interesting stories… that’s for sure.

And you do not think art is about the money?

I do not mean to sound rude so please do not take it that way but you do not know much about the world of art it seems.
No. I don’t.

That's not the perspective of art historians or scholars of material culture if you're speaking of fashion. Your notion of art being pure and untainted by commerce is the height of romanticization, which you just complained about above concerning fashion. If you know artists from any period of time in history--they like (or liked) to eat.
Well I disagree entirely. And that’s ok. Mass produced fashion isn’t art. Never will be. Again, IMO.
 

SpeedyJC

Just a gal who loves purses, clocks and cats
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Jul 29, 2008
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My best friends are the largest art dealers in the country so yeah, I’ve got plenty of backdrop and lots of interesting stories… that’s for sure.
My husband owned an art gallery in Manhattan and at the end of the day it was all about sales.

I have friends who are artists. Do you know how expensive it is to even be an artist? I was just talking over dinner to an artist from Brooklyn about this. Paints, Canvas , renting out a studio to be able to paint large pieces in ect ect. She loves being an artist but of course its about sales for her it has to be or she would not be able to afford to do this as a profession nor be able to afford to pay her bills, rent buy food.

Being an artist as your profession is about money. Unless you are talking about hobbyist who do not rely on art as main income. Sounds like you have a rather romantic idea of what art and I mean the serious art trade is actually about.
 
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