Since the pandemic struck the world and flung us all into
the rabbit hole of isolation, one would only wonder if the world still cares
about fashion. Is fantasizing allowed in the pandemic? Are people even willing
to buy new clothes? If not, what will happen to an industry worth 1.1tn euro that
employs over 430 million people across the globe?
Just like the rest of the industries, the fashion industry has
been forced to adopt new approaches to lift up the excitement in a year where
massive physical launches are like a suicide invitation. They have experimented
with a variety of measures to keep their income flowing and fashion
institutions afloat without exposing themselves to the risk of catching covid. Some
observed small-scale shows with a reduced number of audiences, while others
turned to online platforms to launch their collection.
Obviously, blockbuster runway shows are out of the question, which
have now been replaced by digital presentations and zoom calls.
But among all, Persian brand Balenciaga stood out with its
unique and revolutionary approaches in times when mainstream online channels have
failed to deliver.
After a successful launch of its Summer 21 pre-collection
with a proficiently-produced video song “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night,” Balenciaga
is all set to make its debut on a new medium: Video Games!
Set in the year 2031, Afterworld:
The Age of Tomorrow is an “allegorical adventure” in which a protagonist’s
style/clothing advances throughout different zones, motivated by challenges and
engagements. The idea to experiment with “pixels” was proposed by
Creative Directive Demma Gvasalia, who seeks for innovative ways to display
collection outside of conventional catwalk presentations.
Judging by the game’s description, it sounds like any other
regular games from Super Mario to Wolfenstein. But, of course, the subject
matter here is not actually a game but the brand’s fall collection 2021. The
game Afterworld is set to launch on 6th
December, 2020; it will be playable through web browsers.
Balenciaga’s upcoming collection focuses on the theme of
“human destiny,” displayed through an interactive, gaming journey. It features the gradual return to a
“healthier balance of nature and industry,” and on completing the game, consumers
will be awarded with a “reality-based breathing maneuver set in a virtual
In simple words, it won’t be a super hit digital game,
incase that’s what you’re wondering.
In January 2021, Balenciaga was expected to resume its
couture heritage after a 52-year break with the last collection displayed by
the Mainson’s founder, Cristobal Balenciaga. But because of the pandemic, the
show has been postponed until July 2021, with only one haute couture event per
While many fashion brands has been planning of cutting down
global fashion events and altering the calendar into a more attainable season,
Balenciaga has confidently paved its own path and continue to unveil its
collections. The brand announced that it will display pre-collection during
fashion weeks in September and March and launch its mainline collections in
December and June.
Over the past few years, video games have been used as a new
medium for numerous advertisements and promotional campaigns. In 2017, Porsche
launched the 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS at Microsoft’s
E3 conference, where the
company announced that the latest model would be on the cover of Forza Motorsport 7. Guns n’ Roses
launched its song “Shackler’s Revenge” in Rock
Band 2. Weezer also jumped on the bandwagon when it launched some of the
songs from Black Album in Fortnite.
And even Joe Biden and Kamala Harris brought their 2020
Presidential campaign to Animal Crossing:
The New Horizon video game.
Recently, the relationship between fashion world and video
games has grown stronger. Just last
year, League of Legends developer Riot Games said that Luis Vuitton would be
designing latest in-game and real-world items as per the game’s theme. Another
high-profile collaborations between the two worlds included Travis Scott’s
exclusive limited-edition PlayStation sneakers.
Inspired by Death
Stranding, renowned fashion brand “Acronym” designed a jacket and sold it
Many fashion brands have now started considering video games
as an effective medium to reach new consumers and generate potential revenue.
Previously, fashion brands like Marc Jacobs and Valentino entered the world of
online gaming by designing garments to dress characters of Nintendo’s Animal
Crossing video game.
Last year in October, Gucci fashion company announced a partnership with Drest,
an engaging fashion styling application that challenges users to produce ad hoc
looks and earn credits by using the garment of famous brands. On the high
street Uniqlo also revealed to have signed a deal with Pokémon Go.
It remains to be seen
whether Balenciaga’s latest maneuver involving a video game turns out to be
successful or falls flat on the face.