Tra My Nguyen, an artist has accused Balenciaga of stealing, appropriating and profiting from her artwork\ artist idea.
See the screenshots below
From Balenciaga’s Instagram page
From Screenshot 1
I’m so angry and speechless! @balenciaga has yet proved again for stealing, appropriating and profiting from POC artists’ ideas.
Last year a recruiter from @balenciaga came to my uni @udkfashion @udkberlin to have a look over our master’s class projects. She requested my portfolio TWICE! I send her my portfolio with process and editorial pics! I never got a reply after that.
They have never asked me for permission!!!
STOP APPROPRIATING ‘low seen/read culture’, this is so typical of @balenciaga!!! I feel betrayed and hurt as it’s a part of my culture, it’s an artistic process and not a random fashionable aesthetic you can profit on!
My master’s project was about female motorbike culture in Vietnam. Rooted in my own family history, from my mother selling her mother bike in order to migrate to Germany, Vietnamese motorbike culture have been a core focus of my work for the past few years.
The idea was to deconstruct the emerging street style in Vietnam, dubbed as ‘Street Ninja’. I collaged UV protection clothes from Vietnam over a motorbike to create ‘wearable sculptures’. By doing so, the project suggests a strategy for reimagining the female motorist as protagonists, countering their discriminatory experiences.
What is your inspiration? Why are you even draping garments over a motorbike? What do you want to tell us with this pic!
@balenciaga needed 4 days to come up with the most un-empathethic and double-dealing statement. Within 4 days I have not been contacted personally by them. For 4 days, that’s the strategy they come up with to sell us the story?
It was all silence for 4 days acting like the whole internet didn’t see my post about how betrayed I felt you appropriating my very personal work.
You ignored me, deleted comments from other people and I, post new contents on your feed like nothing has happened plus won’t take the picture down! This behavior is a toxic manipulative corporate strategy to silence the victim of this situation.
Instead of apologizing to me and deleting the stolen concept feed, you chose denial: @balenciaga has all the time in 4 days and resources to organize an additional photo shoot.
Just want it to be clear, I don’t believe your story. How did you come up with your ‘research’ is really easy to debunk within one google search.
In the first place, it was a healing process for me to write down my feelings when I saw the stolen concept on @balenciaga feed hoping they would acknowledge their mistake. The whole situation put me in a lot of emotional stress which I never signed up for. Gladly, the immense encouraging reaction to this situation is something I never expected. Thank you.
So many artists have been in the same situation and are sharing their stories with me. It shows that people are tired of this oppressive fashion industry. I’ve had many conversations with people about how I should handle this situation.
How can we keep the momentum going? How can we take this to the next level? I don’t want this to end like other fashion brands scandals blowing up and fading quickly.
How can artists and their community protect themselves from exploitation by big companies? In the meantime, I will think about my next steps as an individual together with a few people who are helping me.
This is just the beginning, I don’t think that @balenciaga realize how ignorant they have been.
If you make a mistake as a BRAND you own up to it as a BRAND. Never make the excuse that the social media and recruitment team are run separately from each other.