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Will Kim Kardashian Continue Working With Balenciaga Following Campaign Controversy?

Will Kim Kardashian Continue Working With Balenciaga Following Campaign Controversy
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

In their latest campaign, the fashion house featured children cuddling teddy bears dressed in bondage gear.

(CNN) — Kim Kardashian says she is "re-evaluating" her working relationship with Balenciaga after the luxury fashion house featured children cuddling teddy bears dressed in bondage gear in its latest advertising campaign.

The Skims founder and reality TV star, who has been an ambassador for the fashion label, broke her silence Sunday after receiving a barrage of messages from fans and commentators urging her to denounce the brand.

In comments posted to her social media, Kardashian said she had waited to speak out "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."

She went on to say that, as a mother, she was left "shaken by the disturbing images."

"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 told her 74.2 million Twitter followers on Sunday.

"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."

Kardashian, who famously wore an identity-obscuring Balenciaga ensemble to the Met Gala 2021, was among the many celebrities cast in the Balenciaga couture show during Paris Fashion Week in July. Thursday's season finale of "The Kardashians" focused on her walking in the Balenciaga show.

On Sunday, she addressed her future with Balenciaga in a follow-up post, writing: "I am currently re-evaluating my relationship with the brand, basing it off their willingness to accept accountability for something that should have never happened to begin with — & the actions I am expecting to see them take to protect children."

Kardashian's statement comes days after the company pulled the controversial campaign, shot by photographer Gabriele Galimberti and part of a project called "Toy Stories," and posted an apology on its Instagram page.

"We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused," the statement said.

"Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms."

Galimberti told CNN in a statement Wednesday that the direction and shooting of the "Toy Stories" campaign was out of his hands, claiming he was "not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose (sic) the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same."

Balenciaga issued a further statement on Instagram apologizing for displaying "unsettling documents," after a separate campaign featuring documents from a United States Supreme Court case relating to child pornography laws went viral. The company added that it planned to take "legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items."

Galimberti said he had "no connection with the photo where a Supreme Court document appears."

Last month, Balenciaga severed ties with Kardashian's former husband, rapper Kanye West, amid the ongoing fallout from his anti-Semitic and controversial remarks.

CNN has contacted Kering, Balenciaga's parent company, and Kardashian's representatives for further comment.

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