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Since joining Balenciaga in 2015, Demna, the Spanish brand’s artistic director, has been committed to creating a 360-degree experience for clients. Mud-drenched runways, pumping soundtracks to accompany, committed celebrity ambassadors and unconventional campaigns have all contributed to Balenciaga’s construction as a well-rounded entity in the modern fashion industry. It’s not just about the clothes, it’s about an all-encompassing attitude and presence.

Music has always played a key role in this comprehensive practice, and the Balenciaga Music project, a series that started in 2021, highlights its impact on the brand’s cultural imprint. Having previously featured artists like RuPaul and Jay-Jay Johanson, the project is now looking even closer to home, releasing a multifaceted collaboration with French composer, musician and Demna’s husband, Bfrnd (real name Loïk Gomez).

Having crafted the original, genre-bending soundtracks for Balenciaga runways since 2017, Bfrnd is a key part of the brand’s carefully curated, grunge-stained world. Commenting on how he ensures that each track is in harmony with the collection and how he thinks people will react, the musician says, “Well, I am lucky to be doing this for my husband, this proximity allows me to feel the collection from the root. The ultimate goal is for it to become an extension of Demna’s vision, almost like a clothes-to-music translator. I can’t predict how people will react because music is subjective, so I concentrate on matching the collection and the show on an emotional level.”

The first part of the project includes a four-hour original playlist, curated solely by Bfrnd that’s available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Amazon Music. Intending to give listeners the chance “to know [him] a little better”, the collection of songs is eclectic and telling. When asked which artists have had the most profound impact on shaping his sound, Bfrnd says, “That’s the thing. It’s very difficult to point out artists that shaped my sound because it’s the association of all of them that makes me. Every single song of the playlist has at least one element that resembles me and if I could cut out every element that I like and glue it all together it would become my music.” As for what song on the playlist is the most meaningful to him, Bfrnd says, “Radiohead, ‘How To Disappear Completely. The themes addressed in the lyrics resonate deeply in me, when I listen to it it’s like a cuddle, I feel understood, as if Thom [Yorke] was speaking for me.

In keeping with the brand’s immersive approach, the Bfrnd series also consists of a limited-edition merch drop and an original 8-bit video game. Taking players through Balenciaga’s various show sets from autumn/winter 2021 and 2022 as well as spring/summer 2024, a Bfrnd avatar collects points by gathering clothes and jumping on rats. A rarely-exposed glimpse into the musician’s enduring influence on the brand, you can play the game and discover the playlist here.