Balenciaga will showcase its Fall 2021 offerings in Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow, a video game set in 2031 featuring the collection. The game will release on December 6 and sets the record for “for the largest volumetric video project ever undertaken” by Balenciaga.
In a statement to WWD, Balenciaga explained that the hero in Afterworld will navigate distinct zones guided by various interactions and tasks in a narrative based on “mythological pasts and projected futures.” By winning the game, players transcend the afterworld to a virtual utopia where the reward is a real-life breathing exercise.
Balenciaga previously explored what fashion may look like in 2030 for its Summer 2021 pre-collection, and Afterworld will likely expand upon this earlier foundation.
“A theme of Balenciaga Fall 2021 is human destiny, as seen by an interactive, gamified journey,” Balenciaga’s statement reads. “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.”
The move to a video game format signals also signals a larger trend in the industry, as fashion struggles to find its bearings in virtual runway show formats. In June, still the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, some brands struggled to adapt, but Balenciaga, Marni, Marine Serre and others may have finally figured out how to innovate.