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Balenciaga is releasing a video game to showcase its Fall/Winter 2021 collection

Didn’t we say 2020 was the year that fashion designers were at their most creative to present their collections?

In a move that completely taps into the zeitgeist, Balenciaga has announced the launch of its own video game.

It’s called “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow”, and it’s where creative director Demna Gvasalia will unveil his Fall/Winter 2021 collection instead of a runway. He pulled off something similar in September, by trading a fashion show for a music video to showcase his S/S 2021 designs.

Afterworld is set in a dystopian landscape in 2031, where the game’s hero avatar level ups through different zones, taking on challenges and interacting with other characters. Like a classic video game, Afterworld’s narrative is influenced by mythology and archetypes, with a heavy focus on human destiny.

All those themes have also inspired the new collection from the French fashion brand, which we’ll get to see worn by Afterworld’s characters. The game has been designed using photogrammetry, a form of 3D-scanning technology similar to the one used to create virtual versions of Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner.

It will also play out like the kind of video game you would find on the Playstation 5 that everyone is now clamouring for, except that it’s even more accessible. Thanks to the advanced game hosting technology that Afterworld uses, you’ll be able to play it from any device, mobile or desktop.

So, why would you want to play it? Aside from the fact that this is possibly the coolest way to preview a new fashion collection, Afterworld will reward players who beat the game with a “real-life breathing exercise set in a virtual utopia”. If that doesn’t sound like something we all need in 2020, we don’t know what does.

Of course, Balenciaga isn’t the first brand to game-ify fashion. Louis Vuitton and Gucci both have old-school, arcade-inspired gaming apps that revolve around their signature sneakers, while Moschino had a stint designing a capsule collection for The Sims. And let’s not forget all the fashion brands that have made their way to Nintendo’s Animal Crossing in the past year.

But Balenciaga’s latest venture differs from all of the above with its sheer scale. In fact, Afterworld has already set a world record for being “the largest volumetric video project” ever created. The future is here, kids, and you’ll get to experience it on 6 December on balenciaga.com.

Header photo credit: Balenciaga

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.