This year has heralded a shift for the fashion industry and the way in which brands showcase their collections.
Just look at Burberry, which recently streamed its autumn/winter 2021 collection via Twitch, and Gucci, which showcased its offering via ‘Guccifest’, a seven-episode miniseries, that starred Harry Styles in a pair of ‘jorts.’
And now joining the high-tech ranks is Balenciaga, which announced yesterday that it will be debuting its autumn/winter 2021 collection on December 6 in a video game called “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow.”
The game – and collection – are set in the near distant future of 2031 and, instead of waiting for a coveted catwalk invitation to the show, fans of the brand can simply visit the French brand’s website to join in the fun when it launches next week.
Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow
December 6th, 2020 pic.twitter.com/Jm70aZ8N8H
— Balenciaga (@BALENCIAGA) November 24, 2020
Players of the game will create a Balenciaga-clad avatar which they will move through the utopian scenes to a soundtrack of Corey Hart’s '80s anthem “Sunglasses At Night.” Throughout the game, players will work their way through the Balenciaga virtual realm while navigating the autumn/winter collection, the theme of whichis human destiny.
“A theme of Balenciaga fall 2021 is human destiny, as seen by an interactive, gamified journey,” the brand revealed in a statement. “The world may appear to be decaying at first, but it is far from a dystopian view, showing instead the slow return to a healthier balance of nature and industry.”
This isn’t the first time Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia has attempted to redress the balance between fashion and its relationship with consumption. The brand’s autumn/winter 2020 show aimed to trigger a conversation around fashion’s issue with sustainability, while in its proceeding spring/summer 2021 collection - which was imagined in the year 2030 - over 90 per cent of the materials used were sustainable or upcycled.
What’s in store for winners of the Afterworld game? “A real-life breathing exercise set in a virtual utopia," according to the brand. A 2020 prize if ever there was one.