Video from 2022 Balenciaga show shared as cat walk at 2023 Burning Man festival

By: Ishita Goel
September 5 2023

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Video from 2022 Balenciaga show shared as cat walk at 2023 Burning Man festival


The Verdict False

The video is from the Balenciaga fashion show held in 2022 and does not show footage of the Burning Man festival.

Claim ID 5e574541

The 2023 Burning Man Festival in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, has been extended for a day due to a rainstorm that hit the region on September 1. The unexpected rains turned the site into mud, leaving attendees stuck and having to conserve food, water, and fuel. 

What is the claim?

Following the rainstorm, social media users shared images and video footage of a fashion show, claiming that they were from the Burning Man festival. One of the videos shared widely showed a woman in black attire tramping through the mud. One user posted the video on X (formerly Twitter), saying, "Check this catwalk over thick mud at the Burning Man festival in Nevada in the midst of natural disasters like flood and purported Ebola," which garnered more than 58,000 views (Archived link).

Another post read "I'm currently stranded at Burning Man, along with thousands of others. Despite the unexpected challenges, some artists managed to put together an impromptu catwalk show. The 'I'm in the mud' show is a metaphor for trying stuff and always learning," said another iteration of the video, which gained more than five million views (Archived link).

Screenshot of viral posts carrying the narrative (Source: X/Altered by Logically Facts)

However, the footage is not from the 2023 Burning Man festival.

What does the video really show?
A reverse image search of the footage shows that the images are from a Balenciaga fashion show in 2022. In a video from the official Balenciaga YouTube channel posted on October 2, 2022, titled "Summer 23 Collection," we can see that the model who ends the show is the same woman seen tramping through the mud in the viral video at the 14:38 timestamp.

According to Forbes, the Balenciaga show, titled "The Mud Show," was held during Paris Fashion Week in 2022 to display the fashion house's Spring 2023 collection. The Forbes report shared a photo of the model seen in the viral video with the caption, "The Balenciaga Spring '23 Lariat dress backstage." A feature in the American fashion magazine Vogue identified the model shown in the viral footage and Balenciaga show as Finnish model Minttu Vesala.

The New York Times reported that Spanish artist Santiago Sierra made the runway for Balenciaga with 275 cubic meters of mud harvested from a French peat bog in the middle of the Parc des Expositions de Villepinte convention center on the outskirts of Paris.

The verdict
A video from a Balenciaga fashion show held in October 2022 is falsely being shared as a fashion show held at the 2023 Burning Man event in Nevada. 

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