Quantum Leap Of Balenciaga — The Revolution Of Fashion Show

Introducing The fashionest Video Game — Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow

Marketing in the Age of Digital
4 min readMay 2, 2021


In 2020, Balenciaga sent out boxes with Oculus VR(virtual reality) headsets instead of invitation cards to invite people to join their AW21 show.

This is actually not the first time that Balenciaga does a runway show in VR. In 2016, in Paris, 360-degree live streaming in VR was available to Balenciaga fans worldwide.

Four years after, they decided to do it again in VR with a pre-recorded fashion show. But this time, the VR headset will also be used to play the game designed especially for Balenciaga — Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow.

It takes time and money to develop such a large-scale video game in a quality that each piece of the AW21 collection can be displayed. There must be something worth investing in for Balenciaga to spend eight months developing the video game.

To illustrate a world that (at least currently) does not exist

Unlike AR(augmented reality), VR creates a whole new (fake) world as the designer wants. This means the developer has control over everything audiences see. Once Balenciaga has the system established, they don’t need to pay extra money to build a stage, rent a venue, or buy the billboard spot. The reality is their content.

To capture customers with innovation

Balenciaga is not the first fashion brand that launch games. Burberry, in 2019, launched its app game called B Bounce. It was neither a success nor a failure because it was loved by many fans, but the game did not add value to Burberry the brand.

To quote from Demna Gvasalia, the creative director of Balenciaga, “Today’s customer does gaming. It’s an important luxury customer base. They project so much onto their character. It’s a parallel world.” They invested money and time to develop a video game because they know there is a need, and they know they will generate value in the long run.

For fashion brands like Balenciaga, the brand concept is vita. Balenciaga uses VR technology to keep pace with the fastly developing technology world and maintain the brand image as a pioneer.

To reshape customers’ experience

Not everyone has the chance to join a fashion show, especially a front of luxury brands like Balenciaga. As VR technology growing more and more mature, the experience becomes more genuine. Game players get to try on the latest look without going to a store or asking for a salesperson’s help. And they are sitting in the front row of the fashion show, which used to be the spot only for fashion icons.

However, fashion shows used to be a big social event where people meet each other and connect. Now even though audiences have the visual perception, they lack experience in some dimensions. Brands will have to figure out how they are going to fill the vacancy.

Balenciaga is the first and so far the best

In my opinion, it was beyond a successful fashion show. Vogue commented the show as the “‘Quantum Leap’ the industry has been waiting for.”It has brought VR and gamification into consideration for all brands, making them wonder how they will leverage new technology into their business.

Balenciaga started building on the video game in April 2020, when the team realized that a fashion show would be difficult to execute during the lockdown. They did not rush into this until they have optimized the game experience for audiences, which brought Balenciaga not only buzz but also notoriety.

It’s only a start

Fashion is one of the industries that highly require innovation. Balenciaga is actually one of the latest fashion brands to join VR live-streaming. Still, it is the very first who developed its own VR video game, and it will not be the last one.

Even though the game and the show were developed for the lockdown time, we will definitely see more events like that after returning to social life. Technology will continually grow maturer, and brands should always keep eyes on the latest discoveries and consider: how will that optimize my business model?

Remember, there is always an age of tomorrow.