What happened with Balenciaga? Here's a look at the advertising controversy

Spanish fashion house Balenciaga has found itself in hot water after a controversial ad campaign.
Spanish fashion house Balenciaga has found itself in hot water after a controversial ad campaign.

Balenciaga has found itself in hot water.

The Spanish fashion house's holiday advertising campaign recently received backlash across social media, with Kim Kardashian and other celebrities even speaking out against it.

So, what are the details of the controversy? Here's a breakdown.

What happened with Balenciaga?

Balenciaga's holiday campaign drew the ire of social media users and activists, according to the New York PostCosmopolitan UK and Fox News.

One advertisement from the campaign featured child models holding the brand’s “plush bear bags,” which consisted of teddy bears dressed in bondage gear. Another ad promoting its “Hourglass” handbag contained court documents referencing Supreme Court cases on child pornography.

Related:Kim Kardashian says she was 'disgusted and outraged' by Balenciaga holiday campaign

How did Balenciaga respond to the backlash?

Balenciaga issued an apology on its Instagram Story last week.

"We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused,” the company wrote. “Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. … We strongly condemn abuse of children in any form. We stand for children safety and well-being.”

Will Balenciaga seek legal action?

Regarding the display of court documents in its campaign, the fashion brand said it’s pursuing legal action against “the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items.”

The New York Post reported that Balenciaga filed a $25 million lawsuit Friday against production company North Six, Inc. and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins for use of the legal documents in the campaign.

Gabriele Galimberti, one of the photographers for the campaign, also weighed in on the scandal, saying he had no involvement in the photoshoot’s setup.

“As a photographer, I was only and solely requested to lit the given scene and take the shots according to my signature style,” Galimberti wrote on Instagram. “As usual for a commercial shooting, the direction of the campaign and the choice of the objects displayed are not in the hands of the photographer."

How have celebrities responded to the Balenciaga controversy?

Kim Kardashian said she was "shaken" by the campaign's "disturbing" images and is currently reevaluating her professional relationship with Balenciaga.
Kim Kardashian said she was "shaken" by the campaign's "disturbing" images and is currently reevaluating her professional relationship with Balenciaga.

Balenciaga ambassador Kim Kardashian released a statement via her Instagram Story on Sunday.

The reality-television star turned beauty mogul said she was “shaken” by the “disturbing images.” Kardashian added that she’s currently reevaluating her professional relationship with Balenciaga.

"I have been quiet for the past few days, not because I haven't been disgusted and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns, but because I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened,” Kardashian wrote. “The safety of children must be held with the highest regard, and any attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society – period.”

She continued: “I appreciate Balenciaga's removal of the campaigns and apology. In speaking with them, I believe they understand the seriousness of the issue and will take the necessary measures for this to never happen again."

Other celebrities to speak out against Balenciaga include rapper and fashion designer Kanye West, television personality and entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel and activist Lila Rose.

Haadiza Ogwude contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What happened with Balenciaga? Here's a look at the controversy