Gaming and haute couture - Fortnite X Balenciaga
Can you imagine buying a hoodie or a vest for and without wearing it? Moreover, would you buy one to be worn by your avatar in a game? It’s been a time you can customize your gaming avatar with different outfits, but this opportunity is also giving a platform for luxury brands to increase their sales, especially among young customers.
This week Balenciaga and Fortnite have officially launched their collaboration, which is aimed to bring the physical and virtual worlds closer together. The unveiled collaborations include virtual clothes and accessories inspired by the aesthetics of Fortnite and the designing skills of Balenciaga. Of course, a physical line of products will also be available in Balenciaga’s stores and e-commerce platforms
What items are in the line?
Regarding the phygital products, four different styles are available, with an alternate style included each time. These are the Outfits Ramirez Unchained (Ramirez Unchained Silver), Hooded Cabot (Cardinal Hooded Cabot and Midnight Hooded Cabot), Stylish Banshee (Styled Banshee 24c), and Ludochevalier (Stealth Ludochevalier). In addition to these original styles, Epic Games provides players with some unusual accessories.
There are four rucksacks acting as back accessories, sneaker picks in different colours, then we can also find the hand-held Parasac glider, the inimitable Griffe coating, the Indifference emote, and finally the two aerosols Cabot trendy and Chevalier trendy. All these items can be purchased in the Fortnite in-game store until September 28.
A couple of the digital versions of these items will react in the game according to what is currently happening. For example, they can change colour in response to damage inflicted during a battle. Fortnite players will be able to unlock some of the products made by Balenciaga by performing different tasks, challenges in the game. Other items will have to be purchased using V-Bucks, the currency used in the game. The most expensive item costs 1,500 V-Bucks, which is roughly £9.
What is the purpose?
Well, one can say it is obvious, selling products, even digital ones. But the answer is not that simple. Balenciaga is a brand known for pushing boundaries and innovation. Even though being able to purchase and change your outfit in a game is not new, the fact that a real brand is selling it’s products that can be worn by avatars is a really new and emerging concept. Balenciaga is trying to engage with gaming, which has become a key part of modern society. And even though the digital items are not as expensive as the ones in the store, big brands also tend to focus on the generation of future buyers, not only the current ones.
Special ties between fashion and gaming
The launch of the new products is not the first time Balenciaga and Epic Games worked together. Last year Balenciaga created a game called “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow” showcasing the Autumn/Winter collection of 2021. Apparently, that collaboration quickly led to a new one.
Nowadays more and more news pop up about collaborations between fashion brands and gaming companies, may it be a launch of a game on a fashion brand’s site or application or shocking prices of NFTs (Non-fungible tokens). In May 2021 a digital Gucci bag was sold for more than it’s “real value”, for almost £3000, while the physical product is only around £2500.
To put things in perspective, globally there are around 2.7 billion people who are games. A lot of them do not mind, or actually happy to spend on in-game purchases, may it be for customizing a character, buying extra weapons, ammo, vehicles and so on. We wrote about the popularity of online battle games, especially battle royal games are in the spotlight. These games tend to offer the greatest variety of customizable characters and purchasable skins.
Whether in the newest Balenciaga outfit or not, in our Manchester gaming bus one can enjoy the best gaming parties, especially when it comes to playing Fortnite. In the end, only the team and their skills matter, not what they wear in the arena or outside of it.