The Latest: Is Bali’s ‘Duck’ A ‘Bad Idea?’
In a move that is likely to make headlines for weeks to come, Bali has pulled the plug on her duck fashion line and announced plans to expand her range of products to include lingerie and accessories.
The new brand, Balilab, will now offer a full line of lingerie, swimwear and accessories including panties and bras, and will also feature an online store, a phone number, and a website.
“The duck is here, and Bali will be able to continue to bring the ducks to the world with a new line of products and services,” said founder and president Rebecca Zielinski in a statement.
“It’s time to embrace the ducks, and I want to be a part of that process.”
Bali had launched the Bali Duck line in the spring of 2016 as a fashion accessory for the ladies of Bali Beach Resort, which was located in the resort’s beachfront neighborhood.
In April, the brand’s co-founder, Ashley Davenport, was fired from the company after an incident at the resort, in which she allegedly choked one of the employees.
The allegations led to a massive internal investigation and a lawsuit against Bali.
(Bali Beach has since settled the lawsuit.)
The brand was criticized for its “choke-hold” policy and other controversial clothing, including one in which it made the swimsuit look like a duck costume.
The company had also been accused of racism for its logo, which included the word “pink” with a circle.
The brand also faced backlash for the swimwear line that featured a bikini-clad model in a white bikini, and for its advertising campaign featuring celebrities such as Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian.
Bali also faced accusations of sexism for the way it promoted the brand on its website and social media channels, which featured a photo of the brand mascot, Duck.
In March, a group of Balic employees filed a lawsuit alleging that Bali violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, claiming that it failed to properly accommodate its disabled employees.
It also accused the company of promoting “sexual harassment” and “sexual exploitation.”
“Bali and its management team have failed to acknowledge the real victims of this harassment: Bali employees, many of whom are disabled,” the lawsuit said.
“They have ignored or downplayed the impact of these claims on Bali and the employees who are suffering them, and have even made excuses to cover up these systemic failures.”
The company has been working on a plan to fix the issue, and last month, it announced a partnership with the United Nations to “combat sexual harassment and abuse.”
“The goal is to eradicate the culture of sexual harassment, and to eradicate discrimination against disabled people in the workplace,” Zielinksi said in a press release.
“Balis commitment to the disabled and their communities is unquestioned.”
The brand has also launched a new campaign featuring an actor, Mark Duplass, who plays a wheelchair-bound man named Buck.
Zielinskis said that the partnership with Duplass will include a video that will feature the actor “using his disability to speak about Bali,” as well as the slogan, “Balistains love is its own way of saying love.”
The Balistains Love is its Own Way of Saying Love campaign is scheduled to run on the company’s social media platforms throughout the month of August.
“We’re excited to be able play a part in the evolution of this project, and we look forward to continuing to celebrate our community,” Zaininskis added.
Balistain’s Love is scheduled for release in October.
Balis duck was an attempt to revive the brand after the company was shut down in 2013 after it had failed to make profits and filed for bankruptcy.
It was replaced by Balistian, a new, female-led brand that has had a more successful start.
(Read more about Balis.)