The Pokémon universe is continuingly expanding and evolving, and now the video game's most iconic and playful character Pikachu has become the inspiration for Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing in a limited-edition collection.
The special Balmain x Pokémon collection centres on a trainer fashion set with Pikachu and his lightning-bolt tail featuring across hoodies, oversized tops, jeans, sneakers and backpacks that will sit in both physical and digital worlds.
Commenting on the collaboration, Rousteing said in a statement: “Pokémon’s bright pop aesthetic and captivating creatures have always appealed to me. Today, they make me think of an earlier, simpler time, when we all shared a rosy vision of all the positive changes that we were certain that digital innovations would make possible.
“That’s a key reason why I’m so happy to partner with Pokémon on this collection—because, right now, we could all use a reminder of those past moments of hope and optimism.”
Pokémon adds new designer collaboration with Balmain
The collection sees Rousteing reprising familiar Balmain silhouettes, including its familiar slouched hoodies, sneakers and bags, and the fashion house’s signature Labyrinth motif, which have been combined with Pokémon’s bold colours and bright iconography.
Kenji Okubo, president of The Pokémon Company International, added: “Balmain is an iconic fashion house that continues to capture the world’s attention with its inspired designs and elevated creativity.
“Pokémon has been a key driver of the cultural zeitgeist for more than 25 years and the key to our success has been our ability to drive innovation. In Balmain we found a partner that shares our values and alongside them we have been able to create something truly special that crosses the physical and digital worlds with fashion.”
The Balmain x Pokémon collaboration also includes a digital activation, where 15 distinct 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 from September 5.
These badges, created in partnership with tech firm SharpEnd, will offer exclusive access to digital content and the chance to win prizes, including VIP tickets to the Balmain fashion show and music festival during Paris Fashion Week and immediate access to the Balmain Fashion set in Pokémon Unite.
Fans of Pokémon Unite, the team battle game developed in partnership with TiMi Studios, will also be able to unlock a virtual version of the Balmain fashion set for one week’s use free when they log onto the game between September 2 and 30.
Rousteing added: “After we had all downloaded the Pokémon Unite app, well, I think every member of my team got a little addicted to that game. 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.”