Kim Kardashian Balenciaga Ambassador: Why This Gig Is Controversial


Photography courtesy of Balenciaga

Is it surprising? Not really. But are some disappointed to see this after the brand’s viral controversy? Absolutely. Let’s unpack.

And just like that, Kim Kardashian and Balenciaga are back together. The business relationship between the polarizing billionaire and the controversial brand has been ostensibly on a break for the past few months. But now, they’re hard-launching their reunion in a major way: Kim Kardashian is Balenciaga’s newest ambassador.

On January 22, both parties took to social media to make it official. “For several years now, Balenciaga’s designs have been a part of my many looks — and some of my most iconic fashion moments,” Kim Kardashian said in a statement shared on Instagram Stories.

“This historic fashion house embraces modernity [and] craftsmanship and takes an innovative approach to design under Demna,” she added, referring to the brand’s creative director. If you’ve been following this relationship for the past year, this news may raise an eyebrow.

 

The Skims founder famously distanced herself from the brand in 2022, following its viral controversy. TL;DR: the luxury house was in hot water after releasing two campaigns that were perceived as promoting child exploitation. At the time, the label was known for intentionally drumming up shock value, be it through simulated snow storms or eye-assaulting Croc stilettos. But this campaign, social media feeds agreed, went too far.

The internet-breaking cancellation came at a bad time for the beauty mogul, who had been sporting Balenciaga at nearly every red carpet event leading up until that point — including the 2021 Met Gala — and who had become the de facto face of the brand.

kim kardashian 2021 met gala black bodysuit face covering gloves
Photography courtesy of Getty Images

Since then, Balenciaga has been trying to repair its sullied reputation. At the top of 2023, creative director Demna pledged to abandon the gimmicks he was known for in favour of quality craftsmanship. This strategy seemed to change in recent months, however, with the brand releasing an endlessly meme-able towel skirt and partnering with luxury L.A. grocer Erewhon on exorbitant shopping totes. (The latter of which Kim K debuted at their Fall 2024 runway show.)

Kim Kardashian balenciaga ambassador
Photography courtesy of Balenciaga

Fast forward to now when it seems Balenciaga is positioning itself to be back in the same spot it was pre-scandal, and Kim Kardashian is lending her hand. “For me, this long-standing relationship is built on mutual trust and a commitment to doing what’s right,” she continued in her statement. “I’m excited about this next chapter for the brand and to become their ambassador.”

Following the announcement, Kardashian appeared in the brand’s newly released Closet campaign, which took viewers inside her dressing room. Starring alongside other fashion tastemakers, including Nicola Peltz Beckham and Paloma Elsesser, Kim Kardashian is wholeheartedly embracing her status as a Balenciaga ambassador. But not everyone is sold.

“At the end of the day, Kim Kardashian, in my opinion, only cares about money in situations like this,” said Jasmine Kharazi (@jasminedarya), a fashion commentator on TikTok. “She truly will do anything for a check,” another person commented.

Say what you will about Balenciaga and its newest ambassador Kim Kardashian, but there’s no denying they both know how to garner attention. It seems these two are endgame, regardless of controversy.

For better or worse, we suppose.

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