Balenciaga has just relaunched its flashiest accessory to date: a pair of luminous sunglasses, presented for the first time during the brand’s Spring / Summer 2020 fashion show.
The nuances, which made a lot a title when they debuted in 2019, contain a color-changing LED lighting system.
Specifically, the Balenciaga logos embossed on each temple light up when touched and, thanks to the integrated touch sensor, wearers can even control the color and light pattern of the frames with additional touches.
The futuristic hues almost seem like a reference to bright sneakers, a staple for cool kids growing up in the ’90s (I distinctly remember the flashy shoes sparking awe and jealousy in the hallway of my elementary school). In fact, Balenciaga’s SS20 collection included deluxe versions of these childhood status symbols, priced at a very grown-up sum of $ 995.
The hues are anything but subtle, but when has Balenciaga ever been subtle? From the brand boldly Fortnite collaboration to her stiletto-heeled Crocs, everything creative director Demna Gvasalia imagines is almost impossible to ignore.
And in an age of conspicuous consumption, no one can blame him. When influence is measured by Instagram likes and followers, it makes sense for designers to shy away from sober up in favor of noisier products that will grab the attention of people mindlessly browsing their feeds. The tapping mechanism that intertwines these glasses and Instagram is practically Pavlovian.
Before the advent of the internet, however, founder CristÃ³bal Balenciaga drew the attention of socialites – OG influencers – with his voluminous cocoon-shaped silhouettes.
While we never know Mr. Balenciaga’s exact thoughts on the current evolution of his brand, it’s safe to say that, under Gvasalia’s leadership, the house is more relevant than ever – just take a look at the scores of celebrities A who wore Balenciaga at the Met Gala.