Existing somewhere between the physical and the digital, Balenciaga have launched a creative partnership with Fortnite. The launch marks Balenciaga as the first luxury fashion house to collaborate with the award-winning online gaming platform.
Firstly, let's set the record straight; Balenciaga are no strangers to the Metaverse. Constantly experimenting with AR and VR, jumping between IRL and URL spaces, the brand have chosen not to walk but run towards fashion's digital future. Recently proposing a life in augmented reality, the brand's A/W 21 campaign saw them turn their fashion show into a video game, and they've also dressed various gaming characters - as well as a Grimes avatar - making their collaboration with Fortnite come as no surprise.
Virtual Balenciaga skins, or outfits, will be available via a virtual store that appears in the game's popular Battle Royale mode in an area called Retail Row and is a virtual take on existing physical Balenciaga locations. Players can also access virtual Balenciaga backpacks, Triple S Sneakers, and tools inspired by iconic products, like a Speed Sneaker Pickaxe and an Hourglass Bag Glider.
To commemorate this partnership, Balenciaga has designed a limited-edition series of physical products available in stores and on balenciaga.com. Hoodies, shirts, jackets, and caps feature Fortnite and Balenciaga logos, as well as artwork that lists multiple translations of Fortnite's shopping area.
To announce the new products, the two brands have together created their Strange Times campaign featuring character models Doggo, Ramirez, Banshee, and Knight. Content includes large-scale, forced perspective videos, in which a Balenciaga-wearing Doggo appears 3-dimensional and hyperreal. These will be displayed for one day only each in New York City, London, Seoul, and Tokyo.