On June 6 (local time), French luxury fashion brand Balenciaga announced its autumn and winter 2021 collection as a video game. Rather than a fashion show, the hand-made video game featured a total of 50 outfits, which was titled “afterworld: the age of tomorrow.” Much like the impact of the outfits from Cottagecore Fashion look.
The format of the game itself is monotonous. All you have to do is walk along the arrow for a set time of 20 minutes per zone. It is divided into 1-5 zones, each with a different background, making it feel like you’re walking around the cyber world. Of course, along the way, avatars dressed in costumes from Balenciaga’s autumn and winter 2021 collection stand everywhere. The background is 2031. The adventure, which began in the store, continues through the streets, dark concrete cities, forests, and mountains where buses and drones fly.
The visual pleasure is considerable. Invited to the cyber world of Balenciaga, they can appreciate every corner with a simple operation. The backdrop of each section is a painstaking tee, and the characters in Balenciaga’s costumes are also elaborate. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to navigate the entire street. If you’re walking down the street and find a character wearing clothes you like, you can go near and take a closer look. The costumes announced are futuristic outfits that are likely to be seen on the streets in 2031. A huge cloak coat, an exaggerated shoulder spacesuit, torn jeans, and long boots reminiscent of armor give you a glimpse into the avant-garde fashion unique to Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna Bazalia.
The game ends with the protagonist finding a sword in a deserted mountain and plugging it into a rock. Balenciaga explained the game’s narrative in a press release: “a challenge to overcome, a journey of heroes.” the New York Times reported, “in the pandemic era, just spending the day safely carries the message of being a hero.” in fact, Demna Bazalia told WWD in September, “I asked myself if fashion was meaningful in the apocalyptic life we live in since march,” adding, “then I started to dress up at home in a weird way to forget the monotony of everyday life, and I realized that fashion had also helped me live in this era.” “fashion shows have been a practice in the fashion industry for decades, but in the future, we have to think about other ways to make them visible to a wider audience.” this is the backdrop for the birth of this video game-style show.
The era of traditional fashion shows in the form of models in costumes for the new season walking down the runway is coming to an end. In the age of covid-19, when many people are hard to come together, designers at fashion houses around the world want to present their clothes more innovatively. Last summer, ‘Gucci’ showcased the new season’s costumes by showing the commercials live on the production scene, while ‘Jonathan Anderson’ replaced the fashion show by putting his new outfit on a paper doll in a box.
With various rules being broken, video games are also set to become the fashion world’s preferred way to release collections. Already, ‘Burberry’ has aired its most recent show on the game streaming platform ‘twitch’, while ‘Louis Vuitton’ has designed custom skins and trophy cases for the popular game ‘league of legends’. Gucci also designed and presented the clothes and shoes of the game characters in the global mobile game “Tennis Clash.”
Video games are quite effective in that they can show the designer’s worldview more clearly. This is because you can create a more dramatic immersive environment than creating a fashion show stage. Even a game that is simply a way to walk the streets will allow the audience to not stay but to become a player and have an intense experience of diving directly into the world created by Balenciaga. “the game shows the designer’s ideas in a very clear way,” the New York Times writes, “and (Balenciaga) is showing firsthand how cool the clothes will be by putting them on a virtual street.” With the age group that consumes luxury goods becoming increasingly younger, there’s also the advantage of being able to target gen z (those born in the mid-1990s and early 2000s) who enjoy gaming. It remains to be seen whether the unveiling of collections in video game formats in the fashion world will become the new normal in the future.