Since taking the helm at Balenciaga in 2015, Demna Gvasalia has brought the French house to the cutting edge of fashion with his signature blend of couture-level craftsmanship and the winking, logo-laden design instincts he established at Vetements. And nowhere is his vision most vividly expressed than in his collaborations with those outside of fashion’s rarefied bubble. With the help of art world favorites like Mark Jenkins and Jon Rafman, Gvasalia has drawn links between fashion and the broader cultural landscape for some of the most thrilling runway shows and campaigns of the past few years.
Now, Gvasalia is turning the spotlight over to his well-documented passion for music—his crew famously includes the cult DJ Clara 3000, while his partner, Loïk Gomez, soundtracks Balenciaga’s runway shows under his pseudonym BFRND—and to bring the project to life, he’s enlisted the help of Apple. Launching next week, Gvasalia’s new channel on the Apple Music platform will feature a series of playlists curated by artists from the Balenciaga community, with the first coming courtesy of Gvasalia himself.
Balenciaga x Apple Music pullover hoodie, $895Photo courtesy of Balenciaga
Balenciaga x Apple Music long-sleeve tee, $650Photo courtesy of Balenciaga
“This first playlist, titled ‘Hello, My Name Is Demna,’ is almost 13 hours of my favorite music,” Gvasalia tells Vogue. “This first release will be followed by playlists from some of my favorite music artists, bands, and personalities and will represent their personal tastes and influences.” Accompanying each playlist, to be released roughly every two months, Gvasalia will also be putting out limited-edition product drops inspired by the merchandise found at a music concert, available exclusively on Balenciaga.com and at selected stores.
To accompany the first playlist, released next Thursday, September 10, Gvasalia has created a mini-collection of distressed hoodies and tees featuring the classic “Hello, My Name Is” sticker, with Demna’s own name scrawled on. Yet while the clothing drops are likely to get Gvasalia obsessives’ pulses racing, he hopes the eclectic lineup of playlist creators will appeal to fans of fashion and music alike. “It gives an insight into my personal music tastes and is pretty much a soundtrack to my usual day,” Gvasalia adds. “Especially if listened to as loud as possible.” Get ready to turn up the volume.