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Balenciaga criticized for “homeless chic” window display at Selfridges

By Marjorie van Elven

12 Sept 2018


Kering’s Balenciaga has been accused of disrespecting the homeless because of a window display at London’s department store Selfridges. Mannequins dressed in hoodies, baggy pants and Balenciaga’s new track sneaker were posed in slumped positions, such as sitting on the floor with their heads looking down. While the label intended to depict hypebeasts waiting in line for a sneaker drop, many passers-by thought the mannequins resembled homeless people.

The controversy has caused Balenciaga to issue an apology: “we did not expect this misinterpretation. We are sorry this has caused offense and have modified it to avoid any further upset”, said the fashion house in a statement.

Balenciaga is set to occupy Selfridges’ Corner Shop, a rotating pop-up retail space, until September 23. The window display, created by American artist Mark Jenkins, aims to promote Balenciaga’s new track sneakers, which feature performance elements of both hiking and running gear. The shoes, which come in four colors, are available in men’s and women’s styles in limited quantities. Those interested in getting a hold of a pair must book a time slot to visit the store at the dedicated website balenciagatrack.com.

Photos: courtesy of Selfridges

Mark Jenkins