<img src="https://trc.taboola.com/1321591/log/3/unip?en=page_view" width="0" height="0" style="display:none">
Fact Check Library

Fact Check with Logically.

Download the Free App Today




This photo shows chief designer Lotta Volkova posing for the 2022 Balenciaga ad campaign.

Volkova has not worked with Balenciaga since 2018 and is not the model in the crimson outfit. The photo is from the 2016 China Fashion Week.


Balenciaga was criticized for its November 2022 ad campaign, which many accused of promoting the sexualization and abuse of children. In response to the backlash, Balenciaga has removed the campaign images from all platforms and addressed the criticism in an Instagram post. It referred to the children's feature with plush wear bags and the gift collection as a "wrong choice."

Amid the backlash, some people unearthed content from many current and former Balenciaga associates, including Lotta Volkova, a Russian stylist and consultant. Facebook users widely circulated an image in which a woman carrying two baby dolls splattered in blood-red paint and dressed in a crimson costume was identified as Volkova, the supposed "Chief Designer for Balenciaga." One such Facebook post featuring the viral image read: ''This is the Chief Designer for Balenciaga, Lotta Volkova. They knew exactly what they were doing.'' Other netizens alleged Volkova was the mastermind behind the disputed 2022 Balenciaga advertising. However, Volkova has not collaborated with Balenciaga since 2018, a spokesman for the fashion house confirmed to AP News.

In Fact

Volkova has collaborated with many fashion brands like Vetements, Balenciaga, and Jean Paul Gaultier, among others. A 2016 Guardian article contains images of Volkova walking down the runway and posing for Vetements. However, she is not the model depicted in the social media photos donning a crimson outfit and clutching two dolls covered in fake blood.

Using a Yandex reverse image search, we found the exact viral Getty image in a Soha article about China Fashion Week in 2016. Upon further research, we discovered another angle of the viral image in the April 2016 edition of the Atlantic's "Photos of the Week." The image's description said it was captured on March 31, 2016, at the Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week, when an anonymous runway model presented the works of fashion designer Sheguang Hu. Further, we went through Sheguang Hu's Facebook account and found that he had uploaded a photo of the same model on April 1, 2016.

Volkova was falsely accused of being a part of Balenciaga's 2022 ad campaign, prompting social media users to share photos and screenshots of posts from Volkova's Instagram account containing imagery with violent and demonic themes. Volkova's account is currently set to private. Julia Hackel, Volkova's agent, told AP News that the woman in the viral photo is not Volkova. Hackel also said Volkova has not participated in any recent Balenciaga advertising campaigns. Volkova is not a designer and had previously worked as a stylist rather than a designer for Balenciaga in 2018.

The Verdict

We rate this claim false because Volkova's representatives have explicitly denied her involvement in the Balenciaga campaigns. The photographs are from a 2016 fashion show by designer Sheguang Hu, featuring an anonymous model.

Have a question or correction on one of our fact-checks?

If you think a claim has been misjudged or requires correction, please send us evidence to support your error claim. We will revisit our evidence and verdict and conduct additional research to verify new information.

Fact Check of the Day


The U.S. is not a democracy because the term "democracy" does not appear in the constitution.