Balenciaga Sues Over Recent Ad Scandal, and Other News

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Balenciaga’s Spring 2023 campaign starring Nicole Kidman. Image via @nicolekidman/Instagram

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Balenciaga sues a production company after a recent ad caused a social media uproar.

“Balenciaga is seeking at least $25 million in damages from the production company behind an ad campaign that has made the luxury fashion house the target of fierce criticism at the start of the holiday shopping season. Balenciaga filed a lawsuit Friday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan alleging that production company North Six Inc. and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins used documents related to a child pornography case in photos in the ad campaign without permission. As a result, the public and the media “have falsely and horrifically associated Balenciaga with the repulsive and deeply disturbing subject,” the fashion house said in the court documents. Balenciaga withdrew the images following an uproar on social media.” [H/T Business of Fashion]

“Design thinking” champion Ideo taps marketing expert Derek Robson as its new CEO.

“Since March, the $100 million design firm Ideo—known for selling the corporate world on ‘design thinking’ and wooing clients ranging from Apple to Coca-Cola—has been searching for a new CEO. Ideo has now announced the position has been filled by Derek Robson, who will begin in January. Notably, Robson’s experience appears to be in marketing rather than design. He’s spent decades inside advertising firms, including in his last role as president of Goodby Silverstein & Partners, which he’s held since 2017.” [H/T Fast Company]

A billboard by Art at a Time Like this in downtown Miami featuring a painting by Reginald O’Neal. Photography by Eric Thayer

Art at a Time Like This reveals billboards raising awareness about mass incarceration.

“The justice-minded nonprofit Art at a Time Like This launched the latest iteration of its “8 X 5” initiative, a public art intervention that references the dimensions of a prison cell, just in time for Miami Art Week. Five artists selected from an open call will have their work featured alongside established figures, whose art engages with the American prison system, including the Guerrilla Girls, Glenn Kaino, and Dread Scott. The group will activate text-based works displayed on billboards and mobile trucks in prominent parts of the city until Dec. 3, plus static billboards in Little Havana and downtown Miami, raising awareness about incarceration in Florida and the US at large.” [H/T The Art Newspaper]

Art Basel Miami Beach’s mobile app crashes a mere minutes before the fair opened.

“For roughly half an hour, some art collectors had to consider a world in which they didn’t get that Alex Katz work. Art Basel Miami Beach is starting off just fine, with several visitors at today’s VIP opening unable to load the fair’s dedicated mobile app. According to an Art Basel employee at one of the information desks, the app was experiencing ‘technical difficulties’ and guests were being issued physical VIP cards ‘on a case-by-case basis.’” [H/T Hyperallergic]

David Adjaye becomes the fifth architect to receive Britain’s prestigious Order of Merit.

“David Adjaye has been awarded Britain’s Order of Merit, making him the fifth architect on the list, which also includes Norman Foster. Adjaye was one of the last members to be chosen for the Order of Merit by the late Queen Elizabeth II. He was admitted by King Charles III as part of the King’s first appointments since becoming Sovereign of the Order. The Order is given to people who ‘have rendered exceptionally meritorious service in our Crown services or towards the advancement of the arts, learning, literature, and science, or such other exceptional service.’ Adjaye is only the fifth architect to be given the honor since it was created in 1902. He follows Edwin Lutyens, Giles Gilbert Scott, Basil Spence, and Foster, who is the only other living architect to currently hold the title.” [H/T Dezeen]

Vincent Van Duysen’s new pavilion for Molteni & C featuring his furnishings. Photography by Stefan Giftthaler

Vincent Van Duysen unveils a sleek pavilion at the Molteni & C compound near Milan.

“The Molteni & C compound in Giussano, north of Milan, evolves constantly, making it a fitting representation of the furniture behemoth. Home to its headquarters and factory since 1934, the compound is also an architectural treasure trove, where Molteni’s creative collaborators have left their marks over the years. Molteni & C has now unveiled a new chapter in the compound’s architectural history with a pavilion complex by its creative director, Belgian designer Vincent Van Duysen, adding a hospitality element to the brand experience. The starting point for the design, which is Van Duysen’s first architectural project for Molteni, was a four-story showroom designed by Luca Meda and Aldo Rossi.” [H/T Wallpaper]

Twitter speculates Tom Ford may return to Gucci for round two as creative director.

“As Alessandro Michele’s departure from Gucci continues to shake fashion, industry insiders are setting their sights on the future of the Italian brand. Enter Twitter’s new favorite guessing game: Who Is Gucci’s Next Creative Director? Almost immediately after Michele confirmed his exit, onlookers began speculating that Tom Ford—yes, the same Tom Ford that led Gucci from 1994 to 2004—would return to the brand as creative director. It’s a pretty inconceivable move, given Ford’s well-publicized conflict with the Pinaults, who acquired Gucci via Pinault Printemps Redoute (now Kering) in 1999.” [H/T Highsnobiety]

Xiaomi x Daniel Arsham. Image via Highsnobiety

Today’s attractive distractions:

House museums are an antidote to a society that overlooks Black history.

The smartphone continues to dominate flashy new technological disruptors. 

Here’s how Hannah Beachler created Wakanda’s massive underwater city.

Daniel Arsham’s new Xiaomi phone collab is a sculpture you can text from.

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