Balenciaga Issues Apology, Again.

Spanish fashion house Balenciaga, now owned by French luxury group Kersing, has been accused of discrimination against Chinese shoppers. In one of their Paris stores, reports have emerged of an altercation occurring between Chinese and other shoppers. Now within China, there are claims of in-store racial discrimination from staff members.


According to Asian media, whilst a Chinese woman was queueing to enter the Paris store, she scolded fellow shoppers for queue jumping in-front of her. One of the shoppers pushed the woman, consequently leading to her son coming to her defence. Both were then asked to leave by the Balenciaga store staff.


This incident was subsequently addressed by Balenciaga issuing their first apology on the 26th of April, which failed to identify the customers to whom the apology was offered. This prompted further disappointment among the Chinese community-particularly social media users- hence the beginning of the #BoycottBalenciagaDiscriminatesChinese movement. Across the social media service Weibo, the hashtag began to gain attention, drawing in millions of page views.

In response to this campaign, Balenciaga issued a second apology, directly addressing the Chinese shoppers. They acknowledged the “seriousness” of the incident and informed that the management staff who were present during the incident in Paris have been suspended pending an investigation. In order for this incident to be avoided in the future, Balenciaga revealed they will “introduce a new system for product launches”.


You can read the entire second, more detailed statement from Balenciaga below:

“The House of Balenciaga is firmly committed to the values of equality and diversity, and stands strongly against any kind of discrimination. As such, the House takes the incident that happened on Wednesday April 25th at its corner shop in a Paris department store very seriously.

Working in collaboration with the department store, Balenciaga is investigating the matter thoroughly and taking steps to prevent similar reoccurrence. First, given the seriousness of the incident, Balenciaga has decided to temporarily suspend the management staff present during the event pending the results of this investigation. Balenciaga will take any necessary measures after the investigation is concluded.

Secondly, in order to offer to its customers a shopping experience aligned with the House’s values, Balenciaga will implement a new standard operation procedure. The House will introduce a new system for product launches and reinforce procedures for security staff, seeking to improve the experiences of all clients and limit waiting time.

Balenciaga sincerely apologizes to all Chinese customers and all other customers present at that time. The House is endeavouring to reach customers impacted by the incident in order to individually apologize. Balenciaga reiterates its utmost respect for each and every customer, and demonstrates its strong commitment to providing the highest service”


Written by Sophie Butler – Fashion Contributor at Ragged CULT Magazine


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