Balenciaga has once again pushed the boundaries of creativity by merging the worlds of music and apparel in an innovative way.
The Paris-based fashion powerhouse recently expanded its Balenciaga Music project, previously known for curating eclectic playlists, into a realm where music and clothing intertwine. In a groundbreaking initiative, Balenciaga has introduced an exclusive track embedded in the NFC chip of its limited-edition t-shirts and hoodies. This clever integration allows the wearer to access the music by simply scanning the tag with a smartphone.
The track, titled “Patterns,” is an 8.5-minute track by the English band Archive, exclusively commissioned by Balenciaga. The apparel that accompanies this musical endeavor is equally striking, featuring a minimalist “A” graphic on the front and a comprehensive list of Archive’s discography on the back. Archive, known for their eclectic mix of electronic, trip-hop and progressive rock, has released 12 studio albums, each exploring different musical landscapes.
This collaboration is a first for both parties. Balenciaga has never released music through a product before, and Archive has never partnered with a fashion brand before. This synergy represents a new direction in fashion, where clothing is not only a statement of style, but also a medium for experiencing music.
Complementing the release of “Patterns” is a seven-hour playlist carefully curated by Archive. Available on the Balenciaga website, the eclectic mix spans genres and artists including Blur, Joy Division and Marvin Gaye, reflecting the diverse influences that shape Archive’s music. Designed to play on shuffle, the playlist invites listeners to embark on a unique sonic journey.
Darius Keeler, a founding member of Archive, expressed his admiration for Balenciaga’s commitment to “individuality and innovation. This sentiment resonates with the ethos of both the band and the label, highlighting a shared passion for pushing creative boundaries.
Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga’s Artistic director, emphasized the importance of music in both his personal life and the brand’s culture. He noted that Balenciaga Music, launched in 2020, is a platform to share his musical preferences and those of other artists. With this latest initiative, the project has evolved to offer a more immersive and interactive music experience, combining exclusive content with innovative technology.
In the past, Balenciaga has released playlists in collaboration with artists such as Rammstein, RuPaul and Jay-Jay Johanson, often in conjunction with merchandise launches. However, this latest venture with Archive is a significant step forward, showcasing a seamless fusion of fashion and music.
Available in black or white, the collection’s hoodies and t-shirts feature the distinctive icons of both Archive and Balenciaga. Ranging in price from $750 USD to $1,250 USD, these items are available online and in select stores.