The Balmain fashion house has revealed a new limited edition collaboration with the Pokémon brand.
Much of the new Balmain x Pokémon collection plays with new spins on familiar Balmain signatures, including the house’s familiar slouched hoodies and sleek sneakers, as well as its Labyrinth pattern.
The Labyrinth – a maze-inspired motif that was originally designed by Pierre Balmain over 50 years ago – makes very clear its chameleon-like adaptability, as it pops up in several different iterations across the collaboration’s many offerings.
There are also several new takes on iconic designs that were first introduced on Balmain’s Paris Fashion Week runways – with each offering slightly adjusted to reflect the Pokémon aesthetic.
Creative director Olivier Rousteing and his Balmain design team have also been inspired by Pokémon’s bold colours and bright iconography. Sweats, jackets and oversized tops and bottoms cleverly channel the bold graphic treatment that is immediately recognisable as Pokémon – while many of the accessories are inventive hybrids of Balmain’s signature bags and Pokémon illustrations.
The partnership also wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of a compelling digital adventure.
From today (5 September), 15 Balmain x Pokémon NFC enabled badges will be available for in-person purchase at nine different Balmain boutiques in America, Europe and Asia, as well as at Balmain’s retail partner Stadium Goods in Chicago.
The badges will permit exclusive access to a special Balmain x Pokémon experience, filled with a range of digital content and prizes, including VIP tickets to the upcoming Balmain Festival during Paris Fashion Week and immediate access to the Balmain Fashion set in Pokémon UNITE.
Fans of the strategic Pokémon team battle game can unlock the Balmain Fashion Set Trainer fashion item for free by logging into the game for seven days between 7am UTC on 2 September until 23:59pm UTC on 30 September.
In addition, fans who purchase one of the Balmain x Pokémon Patches can get a digital code to instantly unlock the Balmain Outfit Set Trainer fashion items for free using the Gift Exchange menu in-game.
“After we had all downloaded the Pokémon UNITE app, well, I think every member of my team got a little addicted to that game,” noted Olivier. “I guess that is no big surprise, since we all fondly remember the original games from so long ago.
“Playing the game at the same time that we were designing the special Balmain Pokémon badges and jackets that Pokémon UNITE Trainers can unlock, added to the fun – and I’m really looking forward to having more time for the game, once the craziness of Paris Fashion Week is over.”