Back in July, to announce a comeback to haute couture, Balenciaga erased the entire feed from its social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Two months later it seems to have done it again. At the time of writing only seven posts appear on the French luxury house’s feed, all shoppable items from its latest collection, modelled by well-known names including Justin Bieber.
Cleansing the social slate
The art of editing or erasing social media feeds is often attributed to when a new designer takes over a maison, like Hedi Slimane at Celine, or Bottega Veneta when it launched its own magazine. Erasing a history of images during the tenure of the same designer is less common, but Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia has continued to reinvigorate the brand since his departure from Vetements. In the case of Bottega, creative director Daniel Lee chose to delete not only posts but its entire accounts altogether, choosing when to release images and information, focusing on old-school public relations, word of mouth, its own digital journals and exclusive salon shows, where mobile photography is strictly prohibited.
As for Balenciaga, Fall 2021 could be seen as a new era, at least in terms of marketing. On Sunday Kim Kardashian was filmed arriving in New York for the annual Met Ball in head-to-toe Balenciaga leather, including a gimp mask, gloves, thigh high boots and leather trench. Gvasalia has been the styling force behind Kanye West’s latest album release and Kardashian seems to have signed a new partnership herself, the terms of which have not been disclosed. Interestingly, Kardashian has been toting Balenciaga’s latest bag in several photographs, the Hourglass top handle XS bag, which retails for 1,450 pounds. This is no coincidence of course, as these appearances are all business. According to Business Insider, Kardashian’s fee for Instagram endorsements run between 300,000 to 500,000 dollars for one post. With a brand like Balenciaga, the social media mogul will likely have a longer-term endorsement agreement in place.