The reality star, 42, took to Instagram on 13 September to showcase her look from the brand, which she wore to the Kering Foundation’s annual Caring for Women Dinner. Her outfit choice came nearly a year after she said that she was “re-evaluating” her relationship with the brand, due to its controversial campaign of child models holding teddy bears dressed in bondage gear.
For Wednesday night’s dinner, she wore a semi-sheer, pink, sparkly dress with a halter neckline and train, along with a pair of nude heels.
Along with the series of photos of herself in the outfit, she also shared a snap with Nicole Kidman, who was also wearing a dress by Balenciaga. In the caption, Kardashian quipped: “Caring for women at the Kering Foundation Gala.”
On her Instagram Story, the Skims founder shared another snap of herself and Kidman posing together at the dinner, along with the caption: “@balenciaga babes.”
Fans have taken to the comments of Kardashian’s Instagram post to question her for publicly working with Balenciaga again after the campaign, which featured an image of a Supreme Court opinion on a child pornography case, was removed due to backlash.
“Why are you both wearing Demna again,” one critic wrote, while another added: “But the brand….”
A third agreed: “I seriously don’t get it. This is a simple look that she could have commissioned from any brand. I’m here because I’m a fan but this really upsets me.”
Social media users have also taken the criticism to a Reddit thread, where one person posted Kardashian’s story with Kidman, and claimed that the reality star’s “outrage” towards the scandal last year “really was performative”. The Reddit user also added that they’d “never view the brand the same” way that they did due to the controversy.
“I mean even when people asked her to speak out Kim really made a super neutral and vague statement,” another claimed about Kardashian’s previous remarks.
“Not surprised,” a third claimed about Kardashian wearing Balenciaga. “She still supported them like a week or two after the whole incident and then tried hiding that she was wearing them.”
Back in November 2022, the KKW Beauty founder first broke her silence about the campaign, noting that as mother of four children – who she shares with ex Kanye West – she was “shaken by the disturbing images” of the advertisements.
“The safety of children must be held with the highest regard and any attempts to normalise child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society – period,” she wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, at the time. “I have been quiet for the past few days, 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.”
After she explained that she was “re-evaluating [her] relationship with the brand, basing it off their willingness to accept accountability for something that should have never happened to begin with”, she added that she “appreciated” Balenciaga’s decision to issue an apology and remove the campaign.
“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,” she concluded.
One month after issuing the statement, Kardashian explained why she didn’t speak out against the Balenciaga teddy bear controversy at the very beginning.
“With the Balenciaga thing, everyone was like: ‘Why aren’t you speaking out? Why aren’t you speaking out?’ And I’m like: ‘Wait. I’m not in this campaign. I don’t know what’s happening. Let me take a minute to research this,’” she said. “And then as soon as I saw what everyone was seeing on the internet and the reality of the situation, I completely spoke out and gave my thoughts on child porn and completely denounced it.”
She also made claims about why she believed she faced criticism amid the Balenciaga scandal, continuing: “But because I didn’t say: ‘F*** you, Balenciaga. That’s it,’ people got mad at that. So they’re mad if I don’t speak out. They’re mad if I do speak out, and if I don’t cancel.”
The Independent has contacted a representative for Kardashian for comment.