It looks like Nicola Peltz Beckham, actress, model and wife of everyone’s favourite chef Brooklyn Beckham, has decided to join Kim Kardashian as an ambassador for the controversial fashion brand Balenciaga. Didn’t have this one on my 2024 bingo card, but here we go…
The actress announced her partnership with the brand on Wednesday 24 January 2024 in an Instagram post captioned: “My dream closet. Thank you so much for having me.”
The campaign depicted the daughter of billionaire Nelson Peltz dressed in a black Balenciaga velour tracksuit. The look was styled with a simple black Cagole bag that had silver charms hanging from it and featured the actress posing in a bright, white closet. The spacious walk-in closet was filled with the Kering-owned brand’s most iconic bag silhouettes.
View this post on Instagram
Considering the long list of Balenciaga’s past controversies, Peltz’s new gig as the brand’s poster girl did not come without criticism.
While most of the outrage seemed to be about the tracksuit aesthetic appearing derivative of brands like Juicy Couture, others critiqued Peltz’s participation in light of the company’s recent problematic campaign:
In 2022, Balenciaga received backlash for its ‘Gift Shop’ campaign, which featured six children clutching destroyed teddy bear handbags—a concept which had first been presented during the brand’s Spring 2023 runway show in Paris. The bears had black eyes, fishnet tops, and leather harnesses that seemed BDSM-inspired. The brand later apologised for the inappropriate imagery, however, a lot of netizens have yet to forgive Balenciaga for the serious lack of quality control.
Despite all this, in this particular instance, it seems as though the internet’s primary issue with Peltz’s shoot is the fact that she’s in it altogether.
“Maybe I am being too intellectual about this but a fashion campaign is a visual representation of what brand executives think the consumers value. Literally what they think we want, what Balenciaga, thinks we want is a born rich, a**hole, white girl, so I am here to tell you go back to the drawing board,” TikTok creator Blakely Thornton stated.
Thornton’s feracious comments defintely seem to reflect the broad sentiment Gen Zers who saw the new ads.
Born to the 43rd richest man in the US, Peltz undoubtedly benefitted from a lot of privilege in her life, leading to the actress being labelled as a nepo baby by netizens. As a consequence, netizens take issue with a lot of the things the 29-year-old is known for.
“Republican zionist nepo baby Nicola Peltz Beckham,” one netizen wrote in a comment that was clearly more directed at the actress’ Jewish and Republican father. “She facially looks like there’s a bad smell under her nose, then I realise, it’s us, the peasants,” another person in the comment section wrote. A different netizen wrote: “Balenciaga is still cancelled no matter who they get on their crappy campaigns.”
Peltz wasn’t the only socialite to be involved in the new imagery. American influencer and co-founder of the company Wildflower Cases, Devon Lee Carson was also involved in the closet campaign.
View this post on Instagram
Luxury fashion houses like to be aspirational. The glamour and inaccessibility of their products and ambassadors are what adds to the brand’s allure and it would be wrong for one ambassador to bear the collective guilt for that. So while there is a lot to complain about with the brand, maybe Nicola Peltz Beckham’s status as nepo baby isn’t it…