The announcement, this Monday, September 20, of a partnership between the video game Fortnite and Balenciaga may surprise gaming enthusiasts. This is the first time in the history of this game with 350 million players worldwide that its publisher has agreed to work with a luxury brand. However, it will surprise regulars in the fashion industry a little less. Because it’s been a long time since its actors have been courting gamers, who have passed in a few years from the status of backward teenagers to that of representatives of one of the most “hype” cultures of the moment:

Today, the player takes responsibility, asserts himself, and his practice becomes a status to be proclaimed in the playground as in the office. Basically, video games have become a lifestyle, a real art of living ” Boris Manenti summed up in these pages in January 2021 to explain the emergence of this “subculture” to all strata of society, and especially in the world of fashion and luxury.The day playing video games got cool

And to explain that in 2020 36 million French people played video games at least occasionally, with an average age of 40 years, against 21 years in 2000 (according to the Syndicate of Leisure Software Publishers). What changes, it is true, gives it a lot, and largely explains the new attraction for these virtual worlds. Especially in fashion where big brands regularly try noticeable forays, especially in The Sims, SecondLife, or quite recently, during confinement, in Animal Crossing.

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The Balenciaga house is also not at its first attempt. And she had chosen to unveil her fall 2021 collection through… an ephemeral video game: “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow”. The spectator-player was then invited to project himself into a world where avatars dressed in armor or patched jeans, carried the brand’s collection.

With Fortnite, the concept is a little different: the virtual outfits of the Balenciaga house will be accessible through a store. Clothing, but also backpacks, sneakers, and iconic game tools will also be available. These virtual products can be used in several game modes. And for those who wish to mix virtual and real worlds, the luxury brand has planned to put on sale in stores (physical this time, or on balenciaga.com), an edition limited products, such as hoodies, shirts, jackets, caps. Obviously with the Fortnite and Balenciaga logos.



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