New Delhi: Photographer Gabriele Galimberti, who shot Balenciaga’s controversial advertising campaign, claimed he was targeted for serious harassment, including death threats, as a result of backlash over disturbing images. It included pictures of children carrying costumed teddy bears.
Speaking to The Guardian, he said, “I got messages like, ‘I know where you live. They’re coming to kill you and your family.’ We’re going to burn your house.” It’s going to be a campaign.
The campaign in question was a gift shop campaign shot to promote the brand’s collection of holiday gifts, including champagne glasses, pillows, studded dog bowls and the infamous teddy bear handbag. , was also harassed for another advertising campaign he wasn’t involved in. It was an Adidas x Balenciaga campaign that featured a handbag on top of a document detailing a child pornography lawsuit. However, on Twitter, the two campaigns were frequently shared simultaneously, raising suspicions that Galimberti was working on both.
Galimberti claimed that the media frequently juxtaposed his photo with that of the SCOTUS document, and some believed he was responsible for both photo shoots.
The brand allegedly tried to file a lawsuit against the Adidas x Balenciaga photographer who took the photos used in the SCOTUS document, but it was eventually dropped. Galimberti, meanwhile, accused the fashion brand and its creative director, Demna, of being negligent in responding to public outcry, claiming that it actually endangered his personal safety.
Galimberti also revealed that the children who served as models for the holiday ad were actually the children of Balenciaga employees. He also pointed out that the parents of the children holding packs of teddy bears had expressed no concern.
“When they saw those bags, everyone said they were punks. Nobody mentioned BDSM”. But in that case, I trusted them and didn’t see anything that bad.
Galimberti also emphasized that it had little effect on the appearance of the images taken prior to shooting. “I’m a documentary photographer. I photograph what I find there…it doesn’t matter if the room is red or yellow to me.”
The company and creative director Demna have since apologized and taken responsibility for the photo. However, Galimberti, who is not a party to the now-dismissed complaint, alleged that Balenciaga’s delay led to further harassment.
About the photography Galimberti said: [someone at] Balenciaga headquarters. If they said OK, we simply exchanged the mannequin for a real child,” reports The Guardian.
Galimberti had never worked in a fashion campaign before. His early work, Toy Story, which featured children surrounded by toys, made him famous.