LIGHTNING STRIKES ON BALENCIAGA'S WINTER '22 CAMPAIGN
DEMNA TAKES HOLD OF THE INTERNET
By Dana Aufiero
Ocean storms, city blizzards, and tumbling forests come to life as celebrity sensations take front and center in studded garments. Ambient background effects are tailored to each star's look to complete an integrated visual experience in which the viewer takes part. Daniel Roché captures the stars' effervescence under Mau Morgó's direction to bring together a lively winter campaign that leaves Balenciaga shocking the internet- especially when Kim K's in an icy blue dress.
The misplacement of the models' looks inside each environment reinvites similar themes seen in the Fall "22 runway, where models strode through the snow in black-asymmetric dresses and oversized hoodies that created a dystopian, post-apocalyptic atmosphere. Demna draws on his experience as a child refugee and continues conversations with President Zelensky to raise awareness for the growing diaspora of refugees across the globe. The recent campaign continues to expand this message, as Big Matthew holds a trash bag on the beach in oversized winter apparel.
Demna welcomes Kim Kardashian, Alexa Demie, Kim Yeon-koung, Khadim Sock, and Big
Matthew to present the new winter collection: all well-known figures of the mainstream and up-and-coming faces of the underground. Euphoria star and a new member of the Balencifleet, Alexa Demie, poses unapologetically in the New York City streets: snow falls on her crocodile embossed chain bag and white over-the-knee boots. While Korean rapper and model Big Matthew defies gender norms: autumn leaves fall around him when styled in a sleeveless black top and high-waisted trousers. With Euphoria controversy and k-pop taking over the internet, the new campaign attracts a younger internet generation that these figures represent.
Demna's focused marketing tactics and careful consideration of celebrity partnerships have pushed forth a steady growth of the brand's name in luxury fashion. From obscure runway shows in the snow, trash bags as accessories, and Bart Simpson in a red fur coat: Demna has been pushing boundaries across all digital platforms. Through Instagram and his fans, the former Vetements designer discards exclusivity and welcomes everyone to join the Balenciaga fleet alongside their favorite internet stars.
With the help of @demnagram, started by the dedicated fan and Balenciaga enthusiast Saba Bakhia, the Balenciaga force continues to be active around the clock. Demna and Bakhia had been in touch on Facebook before opening the account. An inspirational conversation in 2016 catapulted Bakhia's career working for Demna. By sharing a Georgian heritage and objective to share the brand's achievements, Demna hired Bakhia to the team in August of this year to widen his influence across the internet.
@demnagram acts like a Balenciaga news source that covers the stars of Balenciaga, updates on Demna, and press features. The bio states "Supporter of @DEMNA" and "SUPPORTED BY @BALENCIAGA," establishing that the page is a promised source for all things brand-related, and its 209K followers validate that claim. The Winter '22 campaign was first premiered on @demnagram, revealing all twelve stills, five-time lapse reels, and billboard features. The brand's own Instagram contains only twelve posts of the stills, while @demnagram offers the edited reels and extra footage behind the campaign. With the honorable mention of the creators involved in the artistic direction, this page captures the team’s creative vision that brought this campaign to life. Bakhia says that "replacing is a strong word," but the influence that the page has on the brand's outreach makes it appear as the official platform. Following the campaign's official premiere, @demnagram follows up by posting each worldwide billboard. He hones in on the billboard that captures Kim walking on water and captions the post with her statement for NY Times, "When I wear clothes designed by Demna, I feel cool. I feel no matter what I wear - it's going to be all right because he designed it, and he's the coolest.”
Kim Kardashian has a long-standing history with the brand and continues to share her enthusiasm on Instagram. From Kim's incognito Met Gala appearance in the black-masked gown to a playful SNL monologue in a pink crushed-velvet suit: every appearance is head-to-toe in Balenciaga. Kim posts a reel in an off-the-shoulder pink camo dress captioned "Balenci Barbie," making it evident to her 329M following that she is the leader of the Balenci fleet. She reposts her campaign images on Instagram with "Balenciaga" in all caps, letting the lightning bolt emojis and photos do the talking.
Demna's strategic celebrity collaborations and effective Instagram marketing strategies have brought Balenciaga to the forefront of the internet. This campaign not only reveals Demna's exquisite taste in luxury design but also in encapsulating the outright essence of prominent celebrity figures. The collection's ethereal portraits continue to resonate on the internet and in the realm of fashion: making a powerful statement with only a few days until the launch of New York Fashion Week.