Riding in Virtual Style

Preview image of “Riding in Virtual Style”
  • Futuristic vehicles from the Polestar design contest
  • Photos: Polestar
The Polestar Precept in a scene from the Balenciaga game.

A young automotive brand is showing fashion sense with prominent cooperative tie-ups.

It was high-fashion label Balenciaga that approached young Swedish carmaker Polestar. The Parisian fashion house is breaking new ground in design and marketing under creative director Demna Gvasalia, who already caused a stir with his own brand Vetements. The Georgian is presenting the Fall 2021 collection through a video game set in a dystopian city in the year 2031.

In “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow”, protagonists wear the latest collection pieces from Balenciaga, while animated Polestar vehicles cruise through concrete street canyons. The templates for the futuristic pickups, sports cars and two-wheelers come from a design contest independently realised by the two brands, as well as from Polestar head designer Maximilian Missoni’s in-house Studio Precept.

“Being big car fans ourselves, we were totally inspired by the futuristic vehicles from the Polestar design community,” says Balenciaga. “Like Balenciaga, Polestar is shaping the future through beneficial innovation and a novel use of materials.” Whether the game’s Blade Runner-style setting reflects environmentally conscious car choices, however, is for players to decide.

Much more rooted in the here and now was another cooperation of the Swedes for the Christmas season with a label from their own country. Alexander Stutterheim, the founder of the eponymous mackintosh brand, has developed a new slow-fashion knitwear line with the brand John Sterner. The supply chain, production and “Flagsheep Store” are located on the island of Öland, where Stutterheim keeps his ovine flock.

Owing to strict pandemic regulations on visiting shops in Sweden, Stutterheim has offered customers sustainable home delivery of goods ordered online. The “Wool Express”, a Polestar 2 powered by green energy and packed with scarves and jumpers, left Öland just before Christmas to deliver orders to customers in Stockholm.

Polestar is a joint venture between Volvo and its Chinese owner Geely. It has been establishing itself as a manufacturer of electric cars since 2017.