It is easy to misinterpret which store is in Balenciaga when Gucci’s name is spray-painted graffiti style on the boutique windows. You are now in the Balenciaga/Gucci Hacker Project Series. This week, the collaboration collection was released.
You can see the ersatz vandalized windows at 74 Balenciaga stores around the world. It is a clever marketing and merchandising operation. Balenciaga’s Amsterdam flagship store was one of those stores that were still updating their displays.
The double G was fashionably transformed into a double-B, using brand signatures from each other. The hack fundamentally challenges luxury’s core values of authenticity and consumer behavior. Some products look like they were cross-pollinated with counterfeits on the black market.
Signature pieces given new interpretations
Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga’s creative director, and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, went beyond appropriation. They combined the motifs of each Kering-owned Maison to create new interpretations for signature pieces.
It is possible to break it down into product levels. A switch of trims and fabrics from their respective ateliers creates a new blueprint. This includes a Balenciaga metal clasp that attaches to a Gucci printed bag. A Balenciaga Triple S sneaker has been updated with a Gucci floral print. This logo mashup is a perfect example of two of the most recognizable luxury brands in the world.
However, there is one question that comes to mind. What if LVMH had’t owned both of the houses? Would this collaboration have been possible?