Balenciaga’s latest merch collection looks to expand on its Balenciaga Music sub-label, with a series of hoodies and T-shirts embedded with NFC (Near-Field Communication) chips that link directly to music from one of artistic director Demna’s favorite collectives, Archive. For the collaboration, the British trip-hop group produced an 8.5-minute exclusive track, titled “Patterns,” that can only be accessed by scanning the brand’s new garments.
“Music is a big part of my life and is an integral part of Balenciaga’s culture,” said Demna in a statement. “Balenciaga Music was created to share my favorite musical artists and their personal tastes and influences. We have now expanded this project to give a more personal and complete music experience with exclusive content and interactive technology.”
The drop marks the first time that Balenciaga has utilized a digital product passport (DDP), which can be updated with new features in the future, for its designs. Notably, it’s also the first time that a brand has utilized a DDP to provide customers with exclusive access to music through clothing.
“Balenciaga has always stood for individuality and innovation, qualities that we’ve always tried to keep at the heart of Archive’s creative process, too,” added founding Archive member Darius Keeler. “So, when the opportunity came along to collaborate on this exciting project, it seemed like a perfect fit. I think the track that we’ve created is something very special.”
Archive’s exclusive track, “Patterns,” was recorded especially for Balenciaga Music, and it cannot be streamed through any other platform. The group also curated an expansive seven-hour playlist, which populates on a new Balenciaga Music hub via the brand’s website.
The collection’s hoodies and T-shirts, which front both Archive and Balenciaga’s signature iconography in black or white colorways, are available starting Monday, November 20, with prices ranging from $750 USD to $1,250 USD. See the collection in the gallery above, and shop it online and in select stores now.