Bury the catwalk, build an empire online?

Balenciaga drops the runway and turns to game mechanics.

Global fashion brands have for a long time been exploring how CGI can create entirely new ways of interacting with their customers. 2020 might have even further accelerated virtual fashion experiments as catwalks and fashion weeks were all wiped out with the snap of a finger. The luxury brands still seem to be the ones making the bigger leaps as yesterday on Dec 7th Balenciaga released “The Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow” – a hybrid project between a game and digital showroom.

In fashion game “Age of Tomorrow” the hard-core Balenciaga fan encounters some well-known faces
The Balenciaga AW21 lookbook

This free-to-play online game is set in the future in the year 2031 in which you are invited to explore different pieces from Demna Gvasalia’s AW21 collection starting in a futuristic store environment. The path leads out to a busy street, through a forest full of ravers, and to a mountaintop where you complete different challenges on the way for a final surprise.  Compared to bigger game productions this game leaves a lot to ask, yet with this Balenciaga offers a new exciting way to explore their fashion line, a brand that’s previously shown ambitions in virtual experimentation as with their slightly surreal visual collaboration with Yilmaz Sen on their Spring 19 campaign. 

It’s exciting to imagine similar fashion experiences evolve beyond this stage, including personalized content and virtual try-on. At the least, Balenciaga’s fashion game experiment will propose new directions and complementary platforms to make fashion e-commerce become more experiential, less sterile, and more personal.

The game is free to play on this link

Also read “Fashion learning from character customization”

@Msistema: “People find my work Sexually offensive”

His pieces have managed to catch millions of people’s attention with a singular ability to turn something as uncharged as animated fabrics into something seductive – as well as sexually explicit. Marc Ferrer Vives, aka @msistema, born in Spain, now working in Brussels has a background in graphic design but eventually made his way in the 3D animation space. And his virtual textile creations have completely flooded the Magic Fabric Instagram with people’s comments when featured.

What would Freud have said about your creations?

Probably that I have a lot of unresolved issues, haha… Truth is I make these because I find it so much fun to see people’s reactions, I know what I’m doing 

What’s the most unexpected reaction to your work that you’ve gotten so far?

Some people explain to me that a video is particularly sexual / offensive, like if I had done it without realizing it was. Also on the other extreme, people who despite being suggestive find these extremely relaxing to watch, to the point it helps them sleep. That one made my day to be honest.

What’s your perspective on NFT:s and their potential impact on the digital art market?

I think it has and incredible amount of potential as it has shown. Digital ownership of any kind is starting to become the norm, and Art/NFTs is just an extension to that. That being said I also think the market is a bit oversaturated right now, and still has too much focus on celebrity status instead of quality. Not that it is any different from the traditional art world, but it could have been a great opportunity to change that. What NFTs do at least is democratize reach, compared to traditional art. Anybody can sign up for a Rarible account and have their art displayed, another thing is being able to sell it…

So just to sum it up, I think NFTs are huge for the digital art market, before them it was basically non-existent, but there are still flaws in the whole system I believe will get solved by the awesome community. Time will tell.

Who would your dream client be and what would you do for them?

I don’t have a particular client I’d love to work with, but I would love to make music videos, longer productions with a more cinematographic approach. I’m trying to focus on that instead of the 10sec short video thing. I will keep making these, as they work really well for the fast consuming pace of social media, but definitely trying to go into higher quality, more storytelling productions.

If I met you as a virtual character, what would you look like and who would you be?

I always go for the cutest most inoffensive thing that I can find, definitely with something in pink haha

See more of Marc’s work

Also see the post about Rita Louro