Balenciaga scandal: Tradies confront Australian store employees

Two tradies have been slammed for their decision to storm into a Balenciaga store and confront the employees.

The tradesmen filmed themselves calling out the staff for working for the fashion brand in light of its recent ad campaign scandal.

The pair then uploaded the footage of the workers to social media, saying they were in a for a “one way trip to hell” if they didn’t quit their jobs.

Balenciaga recently came under fire over a controversial advertising campaign that featured children holding plush toys wearing bondage-style attire.

In another ad, eagle-eyed social media users spotted a document tucked under a Balenciaga handbag, which appeared to reference a court case about child pornography.

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Balenciaga has since issued a series of grovelling apologies, pulling down the two ad campaigns and filing a $US25 million ($A37 million) lawsuit against the production company and set designer allegedly responsible.

As the outrage at the luxury brand continues, two Aussie tradies, Lachlan Kavanagh and Dale Farmilo, decided to hit back at the company.

“How do you guys feel about working for a company that openly supports child abuse? How do you feel about that?” Mr Kavanagh asks two employees in the video, as he walks up to the store counter.

The employees appear to be caught off-guard by the question, with one staff member saying he had no comment before continuing on with his work.

“No views on child abuse whatsoever?” the tradie asks.

“If that was my kid, f**k that would be terrible bro.”

Mr Farmilo then pipes up from behind the camera, claiming the situation was “pretty self-evident”.

“I know if I was working for a company that openly endorsed this stuff, I would be looking for a new job, guys.”

The pair then turned their attention to the customers in the store, with Mr Farmilo asking one man if he knew Balenciaga was “involved in exploiting children”.

“Not before,” the man replies.

The word “LIAR” then flashes up on the video, before the tradie responds: “Well they are. I wouldn’t be shopping here.”

The footage then cuts to a confrontation with another customer, who is filming the two men.

“You think it’s good yeah? You think it’s good?” Mr Farmilo asks the man.

“It’s good that this company supports child abuse?”

Mr Kavanagh then chimes in, branding all the customers “f***ing cowards”.

“Look at them. All walking away when we are talking to them, can’t answer questions. You should all be ashamed of yourselves,” he says.

Mr Farmilo said it was “despicable stuff”, before the customer turns to him and says, “This is very Christian of you.”

“Well it is, yeah. Exposing the works of darkness is Christian mate. We judge righteous, that’s it, we judge righteous,” he says.

“I’m Catholic and I love it,” the customer responds.

“You love it? You are not Catholic, you do not support the words of God. You need to repent and turn back to him,” Mr Farmilo replies.

The pair then uploaded the footage to their social media pages, with the caption: “Had to let @balenciaga employees know, if they don’t quit there [sic] jobs and stop supporting child abuse they’ll be on a one-way trip to hell. We can’t let child abuse become normalised.”

While the footage did receive some support from followers, who encouraged their “awesome work”, others questioned why they would target retail workers.

“Wow, so edgy … you know this is harassment right?” one person commented.

“These are retail workers … just people trying to get by – what do you expect them to do, quit? Will you pay their bills?”

Others said it was “disgusting behaviour” and “unnecessary”, with another added: “This is embarrassing, take this down.”

Musician and daughter of Olivia Newton-John, Chloe Lattanzi, warned then men they wouldn’t “change minds through aggression and religious down-putting”.

The footage was also shared to TikTok, where the majority of commenters questioned why the men were attacking the workers.

“Bro your [sic] picking on some worker. Chill man. They have to make a living. Kick back boys. Go after the king, not the pawn,” one person said.

“OMG people having a go at retail workers are the biggest s**theads. They are on minimum wage and probably got bills to pay – it’s not them,” another said.

One added: “Aussie bogans acting the way Aussie bogans do.”

The rest of Mr Kavanagh’s Instagram page is filled with footage of him talking on the podcast thefive8take.

Some of the videos include him complaining about “fat, chubby children”, being force-fed “a diet of woke nonsense” from Netflix and how companies like Virgin are trying to “make men into p**sies so they can control us easier” by allowing male staff members to wear skirts.

Mr Farmilo’s Instagram page includes a number of anti-vaccination posts, including footage from anti-vax and anti-lockdown rallies.

He also shared an image branding face masks a “visual prop to drive fear and anxiety”.

After seeing some of the not-so-supportive comments he received on the Balenciaga video, Mr Farmilo decided to make a video hitting back at those who called him out.

“I have had a lot of people come on to my profile asking why I would go into Balenciaga and why I would confront the staff members,” he said.

“This is such a r****ded question. It answers itself. If you don’t know why I would go into Balenciaga and question the staff on why they are working there and if they are aware of what’s been going on, well then that’s on you.

“You’re the r****d, not me.”

He then claimed all the people who he was copping backlash from were “anonymous” posters, who “didn’t even have profiles”.

“They can’t put a face to their opinion because they are cowards and all they do is share memes,” the tradie said.

“Actually being in a real situation, do you think these people are actually going to put their face to what they have to say? No they won’t. Because they are cowards, they are weak, they are p**sies.”

Mr Farmilo then decided to give the commenters “some advice”.

“Get your hand off you’re [sic] d**k, get out of your mum’s basement, get yourself a job, get yourself a licence, meet yourself a group of mates that have similar or the same values and go out and do something in real life, create something,” he said.

“Stand up for what you believe in, don’t just sit behind your computer being critical of other people.”

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