Fortnite’s flirtation with fashion just got more serious, as Balenciaga has become the first luxury brand to outfit the battle royale game. Not only will four of the game’s most popular characters get a Balenciaga makeover, but the two collaborators will also release a range of co-branded apparel in real life.
Ramirez, Doggo, and Banshee will all get two sets of Balenciaga skins beginning today, while a new Game Knight will also get a primary and alt look. Four Balenciaga back blings can also be unlocked, and the fashion house’s pickaxe makes use of its Speed Trainer sneaker. Gliders, wraps, and free sprays are also available — and to show off your Balenciaga looks, a new emote strikes a pose straight from the runway.
A featured hub called “Strange Times” will be open until 10 a.m. ET September 28 and is modeled after Balenciaga’s physical stores. Billboards throughout the space will be rotated to include user submissions, which you can learn more about entering here.
The IRL goods — The more tangible component to Balenciaga and Fortnite’s partnership launches Tuesday, September 21, through the luxury house’s website and physical stores. T-shirts, hoodies, denim jackets, collared shirts, and hats all feature dual branding and take inspiration from the game’s Retail Row.
If you’ve been brought here more from the gaming side than fashion, prepare for sticker shock. Prices start at $395 for the hats and top out at $1,290 for the denim jackets, which you don’t need to wait for in order to pre-order.
Before jumping into Fortnite, Balenciaga previously partnered with Epic games by using its Unreal Engine to create a video game showcasing the brand’s FW21 collection. “From there,” Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia said in a release, “We have continued to be inspired by the creativity of Unreal and Fortnite communities. It made total sense, to me, that we collaborate further by creating these authentic Balenciaga looks for Fortnite and a new physical Fortnite clothing series for our stores.”
Such a partnership has already started to make more and more sense for both the gaming and high-fashion industries. Louis Vuitton and League of Legends have collaborated for a similar exchange in both the virtual and real world, while Gucci has enlisted 100 Thieves, Pokémon Go, and Fnatic in bids to win over games. Fortnite itself has previously dipped into sneakers and streetwear with the help of Nike and Travis Scott — and we only expect the game of cross-branding Mad Libs to grow more common going forward.