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Meet Demna Gvasalia: What Role Did He Play In Balenciaga’s Controversial Holiday Campaign?

Balenciaga, one of the most renowned fashion brands, recently came under fire over its controversial holiday campaign.  The French fashion house is being denounced by many for its document featuring a Supreme Court case involving child pornography and child models holding bears dressed in fetishwear.

People are now searching for names behind this fashion brand, and the man on the top is Demna Gvasalia. Even though the mastermind behind the recent controversial campaign is Nicholas Des Jardins, people are interested in knowing about Demna. Read on to learn about this creative designer.

Who Is Demna Gvasalia?

Demna Gvasalia ‘s love affair with fashion began in Belgium in 2003 when the young Georgian stepped into Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. At 21, Demna was the youngest among the 46 students in an academy, known for nurturing big names like Martin Margiela and Raf Simons.

After working for a few months under his former teacher Walter Van Beirendonck, and presenting at the Tokyo Fashion Week, Gvasalia was hired by Martin Margiela in 2009. There he met some of the most loyal people, who later went on to work around him in Balenciaga.

Demna reportedly began his education studying economics to become a banker, despite stating he would be “the most unhappy person in the world.” However, the fashion world engulfed him and that was the best decision he made for himself. Currently, Demna, 40 is the creative director of Balenciaga and the co-founder of Vetements.

The fashion designer is known for dressing celebrities like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. He shares a fond friendship with the controversial rapper and was even listed as the creative designer for Kanye’s Donda event last year.

Despite the recent controversy, one cannot overlook the massive talent possessed by this man. From ruling the Met Gala red carpet to bringing in revolutionary ideas, Demna is rewriting the rules of fashion with his role in Balenciaga. You can learn more about Demna here.

Demna’s Role In Recent Controversy…

The luxury brand Spanish brand, now owned by French corporation Kering, came under fire after its recent controversial holiday campaign. Through its document featuring a Supreme Court case involving child pornography and featuring child models holding bears dressed in fetishwear, the company has garnered massive backlash from celebrities and other brands.

In case you missed it, Balenciaga also featured ‘easter eggs’ which the internet has called out for relating to or denoting child pornography. YouTuber June Nicole Lapine was amongst the first to call the campaign out, “very purposely poorly hidden court document about ‘virtual child porn’”.

After this, Balenciaga issued a lengthy apology and it has been reported that the company even filed a $25 million lawsuit against production company North Six, Inc. and “set designer Nicholas Des Jardins for creating the controversial ad campaign that included a child pornography court ruling and BDSM teddy bears”.

Apart from this legal action, Demna took to Instagram and in two separate posts, commented on the controversial photo shoot and apologised. He 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. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms.”

The company, however, claimed that “inexplicable acts and omissions” made without Balenciaga’s knowledge were “malevolent or, at the very least, extraordinarily reckless,”. On the other hand, the photographer hired for this photo shoot, Gabriele Galimberti expressed his innocence and stated:

“I am not in a position to comment on Balenciaga’s choices, but I must stress that I was not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same.” Well, we don’t know whom to blame for what, but Balenciaga is responsible for what happened. What do you think about this ad campaign?

I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.


  1. Balenciaga is Spanish brand, from San Sbeastian. On the other hand, yes, he’s “changed” the fashion industry, but no excuse to use kids and fetish. Dressing Kanye? Haha who is Kanye? Just because he is famous it doesn’t mean he has style lol

    • Yes, I am well aware that it is a Spanish brand, but the “FRENCH FASHION HOUSE” is currently owned by the French corporation Kering. Hence, the word. Moreover, those are just facts about the designer. This article doesn’t support or encourage child abuse.


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