Early last week, Balenciaga unexpectedly wiped clean of all its posts on the Maison’s social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This move comes just before the Paris Haute Couture Week, which takes place from July 5 to 8. After a year of showing collections digitally, numerous brands are planning to stage live presentations, including Chanel, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani Privé, Jean Paul Gautier and Balenciaga.
For Balenciaga, this is a momentous event because it will be the brand’s first high-fashion collection in over 50 years. The last collection was unveiled in 1968 by Cristóbal Balenciaga and after which, the designer closed the atelier and focused only on its Ready-to-Wear collections. Come July 7, all eyes will be on Demna Gvasalia’s collection, which the designer says will be for both men and women.
Brands pulling a social media stunt like this is not unheard of. At the start of this year, Bottega Veneta, which also falls under the Kering group of brands, deleted its Instagram account. In a similar fashion, French fashion house Jean Paul Gautier did a reboot of its Instagram in preparation for the haute couture week.
As one of the storied houses in Paris, it remains to be seen how Balenciaga’s revival under Gvasalia will look like but taking cues from his past collections with the Maison, one can expect him to bring a modern, street-savvy edge to the traditional couture salon – he did after all introduce a different presentation format that leveraged on youth culture and the digital revolution. The brand’s Fall 21 show capitalised on the prevalence of video games as its basis for the presentation and that resonated with many, especially the gaming community.
With that collection, it has helped to garner new fans for the brand and propel it to the forefront of fashion as it is able to become almost synonymous with the hypebeast movement.