Image courtesy of Balenciaga

Have you seen the new Guc – I mean – Balenciaga pop-up yet? The brand launched 74 concept stores worldwide yesterday to kick off its Hacker Project series. In each of these stores, the French Fashion house impersonates Gucci’s distinctive assets, much like a hacker stealing someone’s identity. These pop-ups are a cognitively dissonant minefield, between the reimagined Gucci print curtains (think, interlocking Bs instead of Gs) and “GUCCI” tagged on the store windows. As confusing as it may be at first glance, the concept stores show there’s one thing we can count on from Balenciaga, no matter what: to expect the unexpected. 

Image courtesy of Balenciaga

 

Rest assured, this brand crossover wasn’t a case of mistaken identity. The clothing in the stores is Balenciaga’s, and the brand debuted much of it during their Spring 22 runway show. The apparel created specifically for The Hacker Project includes cross-branded ready-to-wear accessories, bags, and cases. Balenciaga told Grazia these items would “reinterpret Gucci codes and in so doing, question notions of branding, appropriating, and counterfeiting.” The stores are a way to immerse fans of the brand into The Hacker Project’s thesis and encourage them to engage with these ideas. 

Cultivating chaotic energy is something that a disruptive brand is inherently good at, and Balenciaga nailed it with this concept. Be sure to check out a pop-up or pop-in store near you before the experience comes to an end, and follow Balenciaga for more activations from The Hacker Project. 

thoughts?