Balenciaga at Selfridges' Corner Shop

FOR ART’S SAKE: Selfridges has defended a display of Balenciaga Track sneakers at its Corner Shop in London and has also issued an apology to those who accused the store of disrespecting the homeless.

Selfridges’ Corner Shop features a window display with mannequins posed in slumped positions, standing, sitting or lying down. The mannequins are part of a display created by the American artist Mark Jenkins whom Balenciaga had tapped to showcase its latest footwear.

Dressed in hoodies and track pants, the mannequins are meant to show people casually waiting around at airports or, in this case, hype beasts waiting for a product drop. The oversize fit of their clothes mirrors the fit of streetwear staples, yet some claimed the mannequins resemble homeless people.

On Tuesday, Selfridges sought to clarify its intentions and apologized for causing any offense.

“The Corner Shop at Selfridges Oxford Street is designed to play host to creative partners and allow them to showcase their artistic vision as freely as possible. The arts, and bold artistic expression, have always been central to our ethos as a brand. We aim to present surprising, and often thought-provoking, works and collaborations with our partners and guest creatives across all of our platforms. We apologize for any offense caused.”

Balenciaga expressed its surprise — and also issued an apology: “We did not expect this misinterpretation. We are sorry this has caused offense and have modified it to avoid any further upset.”