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Balmain links with Space Runners and Ant Kai to add AI customisation twist to sneakers

Balmain links with Space Runners and Ant Kai to add AI customisation twist to sneakers

Balmain is diving into the world of new technology and has partnered with Space Runners again to use artificial intelligence to “elevate personalisation and creativity in the fashion realm”.


It follows the pair working on a one-of-a-kind collection of digital-wearables and physical apparel earlier this year.

This time, we’re told it’s a “groundbreaking partnership [that] pushes the boundaries and redefines customisation standards to a whole new height”. In practice, that means they’ve introduced generative-AI to customise Balmain's Unicorn sneakers.

For this release specifically, the brand worked with Ant Kai, the American artist known for his inventive custom sneakers, “injecting a fresh and dynamic spin into the best-selling Unicorn”.

One part of the limited-edition collab sees Balmain release the one-of-a-kind Unicorn sneaker on its webstore and exclusively at its new Atlanta flagship.

The shoe “showcases the distinctive flair of Ant Kai, while underlining the remarkable streamlined silhouette" of the shoe.

Apart from the creation of the Ant Kai-customised sneaker, the digital collectibles linked to this release will be minted on Polygon, a blockchain known for its “strong dedication to sustainability and eco-conscious practices”. This presents users with the opportunity to “mint their own [digital] creations, embracing the platform’s environmentally friendly principles and fostering a new era of conscientious digital artistry”.

The label is clearly very ambitious in this area and said that the "avant-garde partnership transcends mere collaboration; it serves as a blueprint for future high-end brands aiming for authenticity and originality. Space Runners' innovative generative-AI tool enriches the customisation experience, inviting fashion enthusiasts into an interactive design realm without limits”.

And in linking with the artist, it wants to not only create a new spin on a best-seller but to “craft a singular narrative that resonates with a broader audience, connecting the luxury house with both a new young customer, as well as those who are young at heart”.

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