Balenciaga gets so conceptual there’s no concept at all with its new Summer 2023 campaign.
Perhaps responding to the recent blunders that saw Balenciaga get itself in hot water while trying to push its brand of being conceptual and controversial too far, its latest campaign strips things back to be utterly simple and straightforward. Eschewing concept and set design for the shoot altogether, the imagery instead sees its models pose before nondescript gray backgrounds.
But that’s no problem for the visual impact of the campaign, as the styling is very interesting, and the eclectic models bring a good dose of chutzpah. Overwrought bodycon dresses appear alongside can’t-be-bothered hoodie and sweats combos; a belt is hyperbolically oversized; Balenciaga shopping bags become the new Balenciaga handbags, as well as a funky oversized tote with an arm hole that makes it a sort of geometric shoulder cuff.
Because it’s Balenciaga, we suspect that this concept-less campaign is actually anti-concept, that its concept is the rejection of concept. It’s a cheeky way to respond to the firestorm of controversy it courted with that infamous recent campaign, and it almost pokes fun at the idea of censorship and controversy that it goes out of its way to avoid.
And if that feels like overthinking it too much, we can just say that the campaign fits the brand, looks great, and that’s it.
Balenciaga Creative Director | Demna
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