Balenciaga’s Climate Change Campaign for Fashion Week: #FakeNews Or No?

Published on February 25, 2020

Balenciaga brought more than just shoulder pads back to the runway this Spring for Fashion Week. This avant-garde high fashion brand satirized the aesthetics of broadcast television to prove two major points: fake news is not going away– and neither is climate change.

The brand’s Spring 2020 campaign video reminds me of when cable news broadcast is turned on mute. It satirizes the role of the broadcast journalist– and reminds us that the words spewing out news anchors could entirely be baloney rolling right off a teleprompter. Their fake lips (thank you, prosthetics) are moving, but there’s zero sound.

The fake journalists (AKA models) appear in front of the camera with deadpan expressions, as if they couldn’t care less that the earth is burning or the rise of fake news is an undoubted threat to the upcoming 2020 election.

It also goes unsaid that the brand itself is implicated in our climate disaster, even though fast fashion is the type of repetitive, cheap, plastic-wasting and coal-burning method that’s gotten the most coverage. The world’s chicest fashion and beauty brands definitely impact the climate, too.

At least Balenciaga and other brands are starting conversations about the unnecessary waste involved in lines of aesthetic production. This year, New York Fashion Week embraced an ethos of sustainability. The owner of Balenciaga, along with Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta announced that together, that their group would offset 2.4 million tons of carbon dioxide.

My favorite part of the video when two models appear wearing some pretty slick sunglasses. The scene references the “Great American Eclipse” of 2017 which spanned from the Atlantic to Pacific coast. Balenciaga’s warning us to save our eyeballs from the naughty sun with sunglasses that are at least $300 (or more). Maybe that money could go toward saving the coral reef, or you know, the pandas?

The chyron is definitely my favorite part because it contains all the fake news easter eggs. You have to really squint to read the hilarious lies:

Balenciaga Fake: In space, humans cannot cry.
True Fact: you can watch your tears float on by.

Balenciaga Fake: The albatross is able to sleep and cry at the same time.
True Fact: these birds take ten-second naps, staying up in the air for weeks. Also, they cry through their nostrils.

Balenciaga Fake: Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada by a Greek.
True Fact: Ok, so this one’s actually true.

I guess Balenciaga’s right about some things.


Kelly Vinett is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily based in New York. With an apt for the beyond, she covers conspiracy theories, fashion, technology, and entertainment. She has covered breaking news for VICE News, with a background reporting on international business in Cape Town, South Africa.

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