"Being able to make this happen was a challenge that I knew I had to face," Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia, known as Demna, told journalists backstage after the show.

"I wanted exactly to make it to be able to move on and do what I do best, which is making clothes," he said.

The designer and Kering executives have apologized for an advertising campaign that drew criticism for featuring imagery of children that many considered inappropriate. The group plans to name a “brand safety” boss following the backlash.

Balenciaga is just one of several brands currently under pressure to protect sales after a series of high-profile public relations embarrassments, including the split between Adidas and rapper and fashion designer Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, after he made anti-semitic remarks online.

Kering, which saw end of year sales dragged down by a slump in revenue at its biggest brand Gucci, hit by COVID lockdowns in China, said last month that Balenciaga's sales were dented by the controversy in November and December.