Balmain Bridges The Gap Between Fashion And The Metaverse With Their Unicorn Collection

It is no secret that the world of AI and metaverse technology is growing exponentially, with new developments continuing to make headlines. One of the biggest developing industries within the metaverse is digital fashion, as many designer names have begun to produce hybrid collections that involve physical and digital products. One of the leading brands advancing further into digital fashion is Balmain. On December 7th, the iconic French fashion house unveiled its latest venture into the metaverse – the Unicorn Phygital Wearable Collection. This ground-breaking release is the brand’s second collaboration with tech partner Space Runner, who helped create an augmented reality-metaverse fashion show for Balmain in March of this year. American artist Ant Kai also contributed to the collection by helping to develop a design that would translate well in both the physical and digital realms.

Source: Balmain

Balmain’s journey into the digital realm dates back to 2018, when it introduced a CGI-created Balmain Army of digital supermodel avatars. Later, during the pandemic, the brand collaborated with fashion tech outfit Altava to create a virtual showroom hosted by an avatar of Balmain’s creative director, Olivier Rousting. Recently, the fashion house partnered with the virtual fit solution BODS to launch its Web3 community hub. The virtual platform allows customers to create personalised 3D avatars that they can use to explore and experience Balmain’s signature designs, featuring a photorealistic catalogue of seven designs, five deluxe handbags, and the classic Balmain boot. This program also saw the brand beginning to blend real-world fashion with the Metaverse by including practical software that allows customers to find their perfect size in-store. 

Since then, Balmain has continued its digital exploration by collaborating with Space Runners. Following their digital fashion show, the Unicorn Phygital Wearable Collection extends into the realm of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain technology. In addition to Space Runners NFT, Balmain is supported by industry giants like Pantera, Polychain, and Animoca Brands’ Yat Siu to produce their Ethereum-based NFTs. While these NFTs are not currently compatible with any existing Metaverse platforms, Space Runners are working to build an exclusive Metaverse for customers to access by the end of the year. In the meantime, digital collectibles will be available for users to produce their own designs on the platform Polygon, where they can embrace a new era of environmentally conscious digital artistry.

Source: Balmain

Balmain’s commitment to personalisation takes centre stage, with its Unicorn sneaker acting as a blank canvas for innovation. With the fundamental shape and image of the shoe being envisioned by Ant Kai, there are different colourway options to customise each NFT design on the Polygon platform. By interacting with the AI technology, consumers can unlock a redeemable code for a physical pair of one of the 130 unique sneaker designs from Balmain. Further exclusive perks include early access to upcoming Balmain releases, exclusive products, and additional digital wearables for online games and metaverse platforms. Additionally, the sneakers will be exclusively available to purchase at Balmain’s new Atlanta flagship and on its e-commerce site, with pairs pricing between $1,595 to $2,095. 

Balmain’s Unicorn Phygital Wearable Collection represents a significant milestone in fashion, technology, and the metaverse that other luxury fashion houses can follow. As the fashion industry continues to explore digital spaces for engagement, Balmain’s commitment to experimentation positions it as a trailblazer in the evolving fashion landscape. The collaboration with Space Runners showcases a forward-thinking approach to fashion that seamlessly blends high exclusivity with the limitless potential of the metaverse, thereby redefining the boundaries between the online and offline worlds.