Pixel art of a person in a black anti-logo shirt in front of a Balenciaga store, with pigeons flying...


Balenciaga’s Latest Drop Includes An 8-Bit Video Game

he house reconnects with the brain behind all their show music since 2017 for a limited-edition merch drop.

by Michelle Santiago Cortés

Balenciaga’s latest drop is a moody tribute to one of the house’s most impactful creative partners: BFRND, the genre-defying artist that has soundtracked every Balenciaga presentation since 2017. In the latest installment of the Balenciaga Music series, a project that highlights the role of music in the Balenciaga universe, the collaboration offers fans a merch drop, a playlist and an exclusive game.

The French composer’s history with the house is celebrated in a special 8-bit game that takes players through a 360-degree experience of the Balenciaga shows BFRND has worked on. Bopping through Paris and Balenciaga storefronts and presentation settings, an 8-bit version of BFRND wearing the limited-edition merch avoids birds and collects Hourglass bags for points. The game walks us through the composer’s recent work with Balenciaga, and we can experience his soundtracks along with their original setting. The first three levels of BFRND: The Game – Winter ‘21, Spring ‘24, and Summer ‘24 – are free to play through WeChat, at select Balenciaga stores (in Paris and Shanghai), or online.

But there is a fourth level: It can only be unlocked by the NFC chips embedded into the limited edition merch line that includes t-shirts, zip-ups and hoodies. And if you play in Contest Mode, you can compete to be one of the top-30 players worldwide and earn an additional reward.

If you keep up with Balenciaga you would know how integral music and its subcultures are to the house’s codes. Earlier this year the brand joined forces with composer Angelo Baldamenti, David Lynch’s frequent collaborator and the musical genius behind the auteurs moody soundtracks.

For a taste of BFRND’s world, this series also offers a four-hour playlist that pulls from BFND’s inspirations past and present. (You can stream it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Amazon Music.) The four-hours lean heavily towards 90s grunge and industrial; there’s plenty of contemporary synthy goth and some nu metal moments. But like any Balenciaga project, it shows impressive range by including some Nancy Sinatra, Sade, and Lana del Rey.