How a Balenciaga ad sparked an outrageous conspiracy theory

How a Balenciaga ad sparked an outrageous conspiracy theory

Balenciaga may have quit Twitter, but that hasn’t stopped the site’s users from digging into the luxury brand’s every move.

On November 21, June Nicole Lapine, better known as @shoe0nhead, took to Elon Musk’s Twitter to imply that the luxury fashion brand is conspiring to exploit children – a baseless claim made even further more absurd by the YouTuber’s reasoning.

She begins by highlighting some photos from Balenciaga’s holiday gift campaign, which featured child models clutching the brand’s teddy bear bags, accessories that debuted during the spring-show presentation. Balenciaga Paris Fashion Week Summer 2023.

While some have objected to Balenciaga’s decision to place the BDSM-inspired bags in the hands of young children, the isolated campaign isn’t exactly indicative of a larger conspiracy.

Yet Lapine builds his case by mistakenly linking the images to photos of an entirely separate – again, fully separated — campaign promoting Balenciaga’s collaboration with adidas.

These photographs feature the collaboration’s Three Stripes handbag atop a pile of very official documents.

By zooming in, one of these documents turns out to be a comment by United States vs. Williamsa Supreme Court decision that upheld the PROTECT Act, a federal law that criminalizes the advertising, promotion, display or distribution of child pornography.

A bizarre choice in set dressing? Absolutely. Definitive proof that, as Lapine suggests, Balenciaga is hinting at something illegal? Barely.

She goes on to cite Balenciaga’s deleted Instagram feed as further indication of the brand’s supposed culpability. Of course, anyone who follows the company knows that it periodically clears its feed and fills the blank slate with its last drop.

Just before Lapine’s conspiratorial tweets went viral, Balenciaga’s official Instagram was replenished with new images from its Spring 2023 Garde-Robe collection, which launched for pre-order on the morning of November 21.

Some particularly zealous conspiracy theorists began commenting on Balenciaga’s latest posts referencing Lapine’s claims, which have since garnered tens of thousands of likes and retweets.

On Nov. 22, Balenciaga disabled comments on its Instagram page and posted a story apologizing for the drama surrounding its Christmas gift campaign.

“Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign,” the statement read. “We immediately removed the campaign from all platforms.”

Two hours later, Balenciaga published a follow-up story dealing with those court documents that emerged from under the adidas bag, a quick response that may have been prompted by the Kanye controversy she had just escaped the month before. .

“We are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved elements for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot,” he said. “We stand up for the safety and well-being of children.”

Balenciaga did not immediately respond to Highsnobiety’s request for additional comment.

While it’s tempting to buy into Lapine’s salacious plot, she presents no evidence that, as she suggests, Balenciaga is actually connected to some sort of Epstein-style child abuse ring.

Also misinformed: his claim that the photo showing a copy of United States vs. Williams is part of the same campaign featuring Balenciaga’s teddy bears (who, by the way, are dressed more like ’80s punks than actual leather fetishists).

Of course, she’s just doing what the internet does best: building mountains out of molehills in the name of clicks.

Hey, we all do, but at the very least Rabbit could get her facts straight.

Or not! The story may be totally baseless, but it sounds offensive, which was enough to earn him a mention on Tucker Carlson’s famous no-facts primetime show. As a result, Twitter conservatives are piling up the untruths. Just like Elon had planned!

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