NO PLACE LIKE HOMER: Demna Gvasalia dropped a big hint about Balenciaga’s relationship with “The Simpsons” several months before he screened a bespoke 10-minute episode during Paris Fashion Week on Oct. 2.
A hoodie depicting the cartoon family dressed in recognizable Balenciaga pieces from past seasons was part of the “Clones” collection unveiled via an online film last June.
It landed on Balenciaga’s online boutique today, priced at 750 euros, along with T-shirts at 495 euros, a ball cap at 295 euros, and leather goods ranging in price from 195 to 775 euros.
“The Simpsons Balenciaga” episode has already been viewed more than 8.4 million times on the fashion brand’s YouTube channel. The hilarious short depicts Homer Simpson struggling to pronounce the French label (“Balun, Balloon, Baleen”); Marge strolling through Springfield in a sharp-shouldered gown, and the whole town flown to Paris for fashion week to model looks from recent Balenciaga collections.
By comparison, Gvasalia’s couture debut for Balenciaga last July — it was the house’s first high-fashion collection in 53 years, and the most anticipated event of couture week in Paris — has garnered 2.3 million views.
Celebrities including Cardi B, Lewis Hamilton and Elliot Page filed into the Théâtre du Châtelet earlier this month for Balenciaga’s summer 2022 show, which was set up like a film premiere, with the photo call broadcast on a giant screen inside.
Eventually, models dressed in Balenciaga’s latest collection began filtering in on the red carpet, turning the tables and letting the audience be part of the fashion show. “The Simpsons” screening caught attendees by surprise, and they roared with approval at the fashion shenanigans, which climaxed with Homer Simpson in a supersized parka serenading his wife in French.
Retailers hailed this red carpet collection as the highlight of Paris Fashion Week, and it won reams of publicity for the French fashion house, owned by Kering.
Balenciaga came fourth in a ranking of brands that had the most impact during Paris Fashion Week, bested only by Dior, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. The ranking by data firm Launchmetrics tallied the impact of relevant media placements on all channels (online, social, print), inclusive of paid, owned and earned mediums between Sept. 24 and Oct. 7.