Balenciaga just relaunched its flashiest accessory yet: a pair of light-up sunglasses, first introduced at the label's Spring/Summer 2020 runway show.
The shades, which made many a headline when they initially debuted in 2019, contain a color-changing LED light system.
Specifically, the Balenciaga logos stamped on each temple illuminate when tapped and, thanks to the built-in touch sensor, wearers can even control the color and light pattern of the frames with additional taps.
It almost seems like futuristic shades reference light-up sneakers, a must-have for cool kids growing up in the '90s (I distinctly remember flashy footwear eliciting awe and jealousy in my elementary school hallway). In fact, Balenciaga's SS20 collection included luxury versions of these childhood status symbols, priced at a very adult sum of $995.
The shades are anything but subtle, but when has Balenciaga ever been subtle? From the label's boldly branded Fortnite collaboration to its stiletto-heeled Crocs, everything that creative director Demna Gvasaliadreams up is nearly impossible to ignore.
And in an age of conspicuous consumption, no one can blame him. When clout is measured by Instagram likes and followers, it only makes sense that designers eschew the understated in favor of louder wares that will catch the attention of people mindlessly scrolling through their feeds. The tapping mechanism that intertwines these glasses and Instagram is practically Pavlovian.
Before the advent of the internet, though, founder Cristóbal Balenciaga was catching the attention of socialites — the OG influencers — with his voluminous, cocoon-like silhouettes.
Though we'll never know Mr. Balenciaga's exact thoughts on the current evolution of his brand, it's safe to say that, under Gvasalia's direction, the house is more relevant than ever — just take a look at the scores of A-list celebs who wore Balenciaga to the Met Gala.