After announcing its plans last month, Balenciaga has now released Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow, a new video game featuring its Fall 2021 collection. The game is set in a city in the near future of 2031, and begins with a “Choose Your Fighter”-style screen with different characters available.
Throughout the game, the player passes through various zones — beginning with a labyrinthine Balenciaga store — passing models and pieces from the Fall 2021 collection. The decision to launch Fall 2021 through a video game reflects influences in the collection, notably the label’s focus on human destiny, as well as showcasing the future in which the clothing will be worn.
In a press release unveiling the game, Balenciaga explained, “The narrative of Afterworld is anchored to mythological pasts and projected futures with timeless archetypes and speculative imagery. The world may appear decaying at first, but it is far from a dystopian view, showing instead the slow return to a healthier balance of nature and industry.”
— Balenciaga (@BALENCIAGA) December 6, 2020
The collection itself continued to reference gaming, with the PlayStation 5 logo used ironically on a number of pieces. Other graphics included NASA patches on outerwear and T-shirts and shirts proudly displaying Balenciaga’s commitment to circular fashion with the words “when I am done with this T-shirt, I will donate it.”
Outerwear items are the stand-out, including an oversized high-vis jacket and a series of statement parkas. A number of items are also shown with medieval-style armor boots, referencing creative director Demna Gvasalia‘s view of fashion as “modern-day armor,” as he told WWD when discussing the collection.
Take a look through the lookbook in the gallery above. Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow can be played now via a specially-launched Balenciaga site.
Balenciaga is not the only label to present its collection in an innovative way this season, with Gucci hosting its own film festival in November.