Balenciaga to unveil new collection in video game

Image source, Balenciaga
Image caption,
Last month Balenciaga launched its summer 2021 collection on YouTube

Luxury fashion house Balenciaga is to unveil its autumn/winter 2021 collection in an original video game.

The firm said players would navigate through a virtual realm, completing tasks and meeting characters clad in the label's new designs.

Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow, which will launch on December 6, will be playable in web browsers.

The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a shift in the way global fashion brands showcase their lines.

Burberry unveiled its latest collection in September via Twitch, and Gucci enlisted singer Harry Styles to help showcase its latest collection line in a seven-episode mini-series.

In April, clothing brand 100 Thieves made its entire streetwear collection available in Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

And last month Balenciaga launched its summer 2021 collection on YouTube.

Amazon has moved to attract luxury fashion shoppers to its marketplace following the shift in consumer habits this year, although a survey of 2,000 UK shoppers earlier this month found that only 32% would be interested in buying fashion via its Luxury Stores online outlet, according to website Just Style.

Marketing manager Anthony Blakemore said that online fatigue due to the pandemic had forced brands to develop new ways to excite consumers.

"We’re seeing brands roll out innovative ways of showcasing and selling their products across the digital landscape," he told the BBC.

"The gamification of Balenciaga’s new collection is an excellent example of how innovative digital marketing methods can be used to not only sell clothes, but create an immersive and enjoyable digital experience."

Michael Branney, managing director at clothing retailer Oh Polly, warned that brands should be prepared to maintain this new level of innovation.

"Once the Covid-19 pandemic is over, customers are still going to expect the same level of interaction from the brands they have spent their 2020 with," he told the BBC.

"Customers are now engaging in longer pieces of content, like a YouTube video, rather than a quick snapshot on Instagram. Perhaps a video game, or interactive content, is the next logical step for brands."