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Balmain unveils AI-powered project for Unicorn sneakers

By Rachel Douglass


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Balmain and Space Runners team up with Ant Kai on customised Unicorn sneakers. Credits: Space Runners.

Luxury brand Balmain has revealed a partnership with Space Runners and American artist Ant Kai consisting of a project that leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) in order to elevate the personalisation of the house’s Unicorn sneakers.

Putting to use Generative AI, Balmain and Space Runners aimed to offer “unparalleled freedom” for customisation, and ultimately saw Ant Kai tasked with putting his own spin onto the Unicorn silhouette.

These one-of-a-kind sneakers will be available exclusively at the brand’s new Atlanta flagship and on its e-commerce site, with the partnership looking to build on what the companies said was a “singular narrative that resonates with a broader audience”, particularly that of a new young customer.

Balmain x Space Runners, Unicorn sneakers by Ant Kai. Credits: Space Runners.

Digital collectibles will also be minted on blockchain platform Polygon, allowing users to mint their own creations and design, while “embracing the platform’s environmentally friendly principles and fostering a new era of conscientious digital artistry”.

This latest partnership bolsters Balmain and Space Runners' already established relationship, which first came to light when the duo worked together on a collection of digital-wearables and physical apparel for a show at Paris Fashion Week.

With this new use of AI in the mix, Space Runners said that this collaboration “serves as a blueprint for future high-end brands aiming for authenticity and originality”.