Malaysian actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh recently announced that she was proud to be Balenciaga’s brand ambassador for their artistry and craftsmanship.
Malaysian actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh recently posted on Instagram that she had partnered with the Spanish luxury brand Balenciaga as its brand ambassador on 9 November 2023.
Yeoh said she valued Balenciaga’s artistry and craftsmanship and thus, was honoured to work with the brand.
The brand embodies a sense of originality and relevance while always remaining true to its heritage as a couture atelier.Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh
She posted three separate posts to announce the partnership. In one of the posts, Yeoh said fashion is a form of art.
It’s not just about a dress but about self-expression, how you feel in the dress, and the valued you embody wearing it, it is a way to communicate my work and who I am to the world.Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh
Unfortunately, some of her fans did not share the same joy because Balenciaga was previously accused of paedophilia.
They were disappointed with Yeoh and said she should fire her manager for making her the ambassador of a brand allegedly involved in child exploitation.
What’s the controversy with Balenciaga?
The controversy started with Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection titled “Balenciaga Gift Shop.”
In the campaign photoshoot, young children held teddy bears wearing BDSM-esque bondage gear such as fishnet tights, leather harnesses, and chains. One of the bears has a bruised eye, allegedly implying a connection between children, sex, and violence.
As for the background, the children were surrounded by adult suggestive items such as wine glasses, beer koozies, and duct tape with the words “BAALENCIAGA.”
Some read too much into the words of the tape, claiming it was a reference to Baal (a name given to a false idol in the Bible and usually associated with demons and the devil).
A few days later, a separate “Garde-Robe” campaign featured an office space theme but the background props were the source of controversy.
The papers strewn across the desk were allegedly legal papers, such as the 2008 case examining whether laws banning the promotion of child pornography violated the United States’ First Amendment and free speech.
The controversies severed the partnership between the brand and Kim Kardashian, Balenciaga’s longtime ambassador at the time.
Some people also claimed Balenciaga is pro-Israel. While there is no news confirming the brand’s ties with Israel, Balenciaga severed ties with rapper and designer Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, on 22 October 2022 after his anti-Semitic rant.
Balenciaga and Ye previously collaborated on a project with his Yeezy label and Gap Inc.