Imagine a post apocalyptic world where our “mythological pasts” and “projected futures” collide in an “allegorical adventure.” Now imagine exploring this world through the lens of a fully interactive character “hero avatar” that advances throughout distinct zones in 2031, motivated by tasks and interactions – and dressed… in Balenciaga.
On December 6th (at 2pm), the Spanish high fashion house will be breaking virtual and physical barriers to introduce Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow a complex browser-played video game that will not only introduce the world to creative director Demna Gvasalia’s AW21 collection but will also boast to be the “largest volumetric video project ever undertaken.”
Although a radical departure from the traditional fashion show format (Balenciaga controversially skipped PFW SS this year) espoused by brands for decades, this digital integrations are not a pure first for Gvasalia. For September 2019, the Georgian-born designer built a modular digital vortex tube made of 2000 square meters of LED screens for his models to walk through and showcase his Neo collection.
The digital platform’s easily available format is part of the appeal. Through the free-to-play game, millions will be able to enjoy, share and interact with the season’s clothing. Similarly, the release allows customers to explore the way the clothes are intended to be worn and the contextual inspiration for them.
A Balenciaga spokesperson notes that; “the narrative of Afterworld are anchored to mythological pasts and projected futures with timeless archetypes and speculative imagery. 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.” If that doesn’t sound like it’s on point for 2020 – we don’t know what is.
One thing is for certain – the collaboration follows a growing trend amongst fashion houses to stand out from the crowd and interact more with the end customer. Among recent fellow initiatives we find Virgil’s Mercedes collab and Gucci’s Film Festival. Perhaps we’ll see a DDW x YSL line next….
UP NEXT: Fashion for the future…