Photo: Balenciaga Fall 2021

Balenciaga fuses gaming and fashion in ‘Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow’

Balenciaga’s 2021 fall collection will be ‘hidden’ in upcoming dystopian game, ‘Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow’.


Photo: Balenciaga Fall 2021

Balenciaga will be pushing boundaries once again by unveiling Demna Gvasalia’s 2021 fashion fall collection in an upcoming video game titled Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow.

Esquire describes Afterworld as “a proper video game, with a fashion collection hidden inside”. Here’s what we know about The Age of Tomorrow.

‘Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow’ featuring Balenciaga

Release date and plot

Afterworld has a 6 December 2020 release date and includes the “largest volumetric video project ever undertaken”. Balenciaga’s video game plays out in in the year 2031.

Your hero goes on an allegorical adventure and navigates through zones that span various interactive tasks and storytelling. The game revolves around “human destiny, as seen by an interactive, gamified journey”.

“A theme of Balenciaga fall 2021 is human destiny […] The world may appear to be decaying at first, but it is far from a dystopian view, showing instead the slow return to a healthier balance of nature and industry”.

In a statement to WWD, Balenciaga says the hero is “motivated by tasks and interactions” as it moves through the zones and interacts with environments and characters.

Watch: ‘Age of Tomorrow’ announcement

“The narrative of ‘Afterworld’ is anchored to mythological pasts and projected futures with timeless archetypes and speculative imagery.”

Balenciaga added that the “world may appear to be decaying at first; but it is far from a dystopian view, showing instead the slow return to a healthier balance of nature and industry”.

The statement alluded to studies of archetypal heroes by the late American academic Joseph Campbell; referring to the Hero’s paths culminating when the player becomes a “Master of Two Worlds”.

We don’t know much else apart from that. Balenciaga posted the Age of Tomorrow announcement on YouTube, without adding a caption or providing any additional information.

Pushing boundaries

Balenciaga pushes boundaries by thinking out of the box. The fashion house made headlines even before the pandemic, by “bringing technology to style” when it released Summer 20 Eyewear collection featuring the LED Frame.

The company also partnered with Canadian musician Grimes to become the first fashion house to dress her virtual being, known only as WarNymph.

Moreover, Grimes created WarNymph in an attempt to separate her real identity from her online persona. She was also pregnant at the time and couldn’t do the amount of work she would normally accept.

So, while she rested at home with Elon Musk and prepared for the birth of their son, the Balenciaga-clad WarNymph was “out there” posing in designer outfits for fashion magazines.

As described by Show Studio, “War Nymph allows Grimes to promote her music in an alternative way”. Using WarNymph doesn’t require her physical presence but allows for “an exciting expansion of the Grimes universe”.

“Having a digital body allows me to keep working throughout the later stages of my pregnancy, and after I have my baby, so I can spend more time with them. It’s also hard for me to do photoshoots and fit into clothes at the moment. But WarNymph is here in your magazine promoting my album for me”.