Balenciaga Brings the Metaverse drip to Fortnite!
If there is one thing that this Pandemic has given to us, that accelerated growth of digital experiences and a host of new virtual worlds also known as metaverses explore. It may be the forced lockdown and but these metaverses were an escape for many from a world that no longer was the same and will probably won't be the same for awhile.
All the while, brands needed to find ways to actually convince consumers that its worth buying new physical items and it was mere hope that consumers would bite. The reality was revenues were down a record low and many luxury brands needed a new way to sustain (although there were some brands that surprisingly maintained their revenues but this was few and far between).
Then Balenciaga took the first dive into the metaverse by presenting their collection in a virtual world game. And now, their breaking the gaming industry by partnering with Fortnite to create a digital collection of in-game wearables for your Fortnite characters. Now you can flex those triple-s's while destroying your opponent.
This is the first time that Fortnite is collaborating with a luxury fashion house to create exclusive in game items. Players can shop for Balenciaga backpacks and those bestselling Triple S Sneakers, on top of Balenciaga “skins” — basically digital drip.
And that is not wear it stops, the best part is Balenciaga went all-out by integrating their brand not only as skins and digital sneakers but also part of the entire game. Using the iconic Hourglass handbag as a glider that players can use to traverse the Fortnite world and even the Speed Sneakers is transformed into a pickaxe with the sneaker as the weapon.
Balenciaga’s new groundbreaking partnership with Battle Royale giants, Fortnite is just another example of how the world of high fashion and video games are intersecting and I believe this is just the start of something greater than just a passing fad. This is looking to be more of a generational shift that as more and more of us are spending more time on the metaverse than ever before.
With VR tech only improving, this mass exodus of humankind spending more time in digital worlds is only just about to explore and tech-forward brands like Balenciaga will be there to capitalise on the paradigm shift.
We’ve already seen Gucci’s controversial Roblox sale and how several fashion brands have tapped on games like Animal Crossing and The Sims to launch their collection with the biggest being Louis Vuitton x League of Legends collaboration awhile ago in 2019. Will this be bigger than that? With virtual concerts by Ariana Grande and Travis Scott on Fortnite amassing millions of views, I won't be betting against it.