Balenciaga Follows BDSM Teddy Bear Scandal With Children's Advocacy Group Partnership The fashion house and the Kering Foundation will partner with the nonprofit National Children's Alliance.
Balenciaga and the Kering Foundation have joined forces with the National Children's Alliance (NCA) for a three-year program to raise awareness of child abuse. The partnership comes months after Balenciaga faced criticism for controversial ad campaigns featuring children holding toy bears wearing BDSM gear.
At the time, Balenciaga and the Kering Foundation responded by removing the campaigns. In addition, they issued a public apology, promising to learn from the mistake and contribute to ending child exploitation.
Balenciaga and Kering will support NCA's Mental Health Institute by easing access to trauma-focused cognitive behavioral training. The NCA will also provide Balenciaga with education in child protection and promoting child safety. In a statement, the fashion house's CEO Cédric Charbit said his company was "confronted with the reality and magnitude of childhood trauma" during a listening tour engaging "with several leading organizations and experts in the field of childhood trauma."
"Collectively," Charbit continued, Balenciaga "listened and learned a lot through this experience, and we wanted to help [and] have a positive and lasting impact on children and their future who needed support but lacked access. We are grateful to support the work of NCA."
The NCA will train nearly 2,000 professionals in trauma treatment — with Balenciaga's support — and over the next three years, approximately 55,000 children will receive mental health services. The NCA Mental Health Institute was established in 2022 to ensure abused children could access appropriate care.