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Balenciaga will show at Paris Fashion Week in March, settling speculation that the brand would sit out following its explosive ad campaign scandal.

Fashion insider @stylenotcom announced the news on January 30, posting the date and time of Balenciaga's Fall/Winter 2023 runway show — March 5 at 11:30 a.m., Paris time — on Instagram, and other pages followed suit. Balenciaga itself has yet to confirm the show, date, or time.

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Balenciaga's (presumed) return to the runway follows its startling descent from industry darling to disaster. In November 2022, Balenciaga released a holiday gifting campaign that pictured children alongside teddy bear-shaped purses outfitted in leather straps and harnesses that some perceived as BDSM gear.

Critics panned Balenciaga for placing kids beside the leather-clad bears, condemning the brand for exploiting minors.

In a separate campaign, a Balenciaga bag appeared atop a pile of legal documents bearing a comment from United States v. Williams, a Supreme Court ruling that upheld a federal law that criminalizes advertising, promoting, presenting, or distributing child pornography. Drawing a link between the presence of said documents to Balenciaga's holiday gifting campaign, some concocted an elaborate theory involving the brand and a supposed child abuse scheme.

Balenciaga eventually apologized for both campaigns, but the damage was done. In the court of public and celebrity opinion, it was tainted: Kim Kardashian, one of creative director Demna's most outspoken supporters, stopped wearing Balenciaga in public. On TikTok, scores of outraged creators performatively cut their City bags and discarded their Triple S sneakers in protest.

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Balenciaga was subsequently absent from Paris Couture Week in January, a decision that may have been informed by its recent scandal.

Still, the company has been slowly and quietly reentering the public arena. Last week, it shared images of its Garde-Robe 2023 collection to Instagram, its first post since December 2022.

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Although Demna did reveal some details of the forthcoming presentation in a surprise interview following a charitable announcement, Balenciaga's upcoming runway show still doesn't answer several lingering questions.

Will it address the controversy? Who will be in attendance? And are customers ready to forgive and forget?

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