TikTokers destroy thousands of dollars worth of Balenciaga products to protest the brand's controversial holiday ad campaign

TikTokers destroy thousands of dollars worth of Balenciaga products to protest the brand’s controversial holiday ad campaign

  • Last week, Balenciaga apologized for its recent advertising campaign accused of sexualizing children.
  • TikTokers took down Balenciaga products on social media to protest and boycott the brand.
  • A TikToker said he threw away a pair of sunglasses that sell for $1,035.

TikTokers film themselves as they burn, cut up and throw away Balenciaga products to protest the brand’s controversial holiday ad campaign involving children holding plush bags accessorized with what appeared to be bondage gear.

Balenciaga apologized and pulled the ads from social media on November 22, following accusations of sexualizing young children.

In a statement on social media, the brand wrote: “We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused. Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. ” The brand added that it strongly condemns “child abuse in any form”.

Internet users continue to denounce Balenciaga on social networks following the brand’s apology. The hashtag #cancelbalenciaga has 70 million views on TikTok, where people discuss their thoughts on the controversial images.

They now publicly destroy or discard their own Balenciaga products.

A user with 65,000 followers, whose name is Gianna C. Avalos, could be seen cutting up a black leather bag, which she says cost $1,500 when she bought it from Balenciaga, in a November 28 video.

“It’s basically my everyday bag. It won’t be anymore,” she said in the clip, cutting the straps with scissors.

She told Insider that she wanted to use her platform to fix the problem.

“I think as influencers, it’s important to not lose sight of the seriousness of our voice on the platform that holds our followers. We can either use that voice to raise awareness or stay quiet,” he said. she said, adding, “There’s a reason I didn’t throw away, reuse, donate or sell the bag. I no longer wanted this bag to have a place in our society.

British TikToker Chloé Hennessey posted a similar video, which received 1.2 million views, on November 27, cutting off a blue Balenciaga sweater and tossing a number of other items she said she bought from the brand, including what appeared to be a pair of LED sunglasses that retailed for $1,035 in the US that she revealed she bought the day before.

Hennessey, who gave birth to a baby boy last year, said as a mother she finds it “really disgusting to see children being sexualized and exploited like this”.

Most commenters under Hennessey’s video said they supported his decision to dump the products, but one comment with 1,000 likes suggested the TikToker should have donated the items instead.

“Generally speaking, I find the cancel culture really annoying, but in this case I think it’s for a good reason,” Hennessey told Insider, adding, “If I gave it to a homeless person or if I donated it to charity, someone somewhere is still going around with Balenciaga, representing that brand.”

“I would feel really uncomfortable if someone wore Balenciaga around knowing that what they actually did is so widely publicized,” she said.

Alexis Adjei, a lifestyle TikToker with 6,000 followers who filmed herself throwing a number of Balenciaga logo-emblazoned garments in front of 3.8 million viewers, echoed similar sentiments in a statement given to Insider.

“He belongs in the trash,” she said, adding, “I think anyone who’s angry, upset, upset or disappointed by Balenciaga’s actions has every right to feel what he’s doing.”

Destroying products from controversial brands has become a popular form of online activism to protest and join a boycott against them.

In April, Insider reported that Russian influencers were cutting up Chanel bags on camera after the luxury fashion house banned them from buying its products following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

More recently, in October, a Florida man named Danny Schiff posted a series of TikToks burning 10 pairs of shoes from Yeezy, the brand founded by Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, to protest anti-Semitic comments made by the rapper.

A number of celebrities have spoken out against Balenciaga in the wake of the controversy, including Kim Kardashian, who said she was “disgusted and outraged” by recent Twitter ads. Publish of November 27. She told her followers in the statement that she is currently “reassessing” her relationship with the brand, as she has done in Balenciaga advertisements before and has also worn the brand at red carpet events.

Kering — the French luxury goods company that owns Balenciaga — did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

For more stories like this, check out Insider’s Digital Culture team coverage here.


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