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Justin Bieber is a ghoulish nightporter in Balenciaga

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The popstar and fashion house continue their creative kinship with a series of austere campaign images

Demna Gvasalia is obsessed with the limits of fame and notoriety – his creative direction of Kim Kardashian has rendered the most recognisable women on the planet pretty much faceless – but he has only recently begun to bring celebrity into Balenciaga. For a long time he was the antithesis of Donatella Versace, much more likely to send out his collections on a sweep of dour and sullen Victorian-looking models, than he would high-octane supermodels. 

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That all changed, however, when Cardi B starred front and centre of the house’s September 2020 campaign. Since then, Naomi Campbell, Isabelle Huppert, and Ella Emhoff have walked and posed for the brand alongside Justin Bieber – who today returns into Gvasalia’s fold, starring in Balenciaga’s latest campaign. Shot wearing a floor-skimming, distended robe-like jacket, and chunky, shin-length gumboots, the popstar dangles a rack of keys from his neck like some kind of doom monk or venal nightporter. 

Bieber made his Balenciaga debut last season as the star of Gvasalia’s AW21 campaign shot by Katy Grannan, though he looked a little different in grubby sneakers and slouchy sportswear. In what’s become something of a habit, earlier this week, the Paris-based fashion house deleted every photo from its Instagram, presumably in preparation for the next slew of campaign images following its The Simpsons venture during fashion week. After all, the label’s next show is set to take place in little over a week, on December 8. Dubbed The Lost Tape/The Show That Never Happened, Balenciaga’s AW22 collection will debut with a video, accompanied by a look book. Stay tuned for whatever gag Gvasalia is bound to pull then.