One of the emergent viral memes worming it's way into video stream suggestions across the internet is the "By Balenciaga" series that has rapidly evolved over the past 2 months to from it's own aesthetic that intentionally dips into the uncanny valley while reimagining Pop Culture icons from the past.
Searches into the genesis story of the "By Balenciaga" meme lead to a 2021 animated short film created in collaboration with Balenciaga for it's Spring/Summer 2022 collection as a seed that went from collaboration success to fears of run away brand dilution.
After Demna Gvasalia, a longtime fan of The Simpsons, presented the idea to the show's creator Matt Groening in April 2020, the short film was produced in secret for almost a year. The original outline from the Simpsons writers had Balenciaga holding their fashion show in Springfield, but the location was changed to Paris at Balenciaga's insistence. All of the clothing featured in the short are designs by Balenciaga, with the exception of the fictional dress Marge receives at the beginning. Though Gvasalia was heavily involved with the production, he declined to voice himself. Anna Wintour approved of her likeness being used but declined to voice herself. Director David Silverman said animating the distinct look and movement of fabrics was particularly challenging.The Simpsons Balenciaga | Wikipedia
According to knowyourmeme.com, the first "By Balenciaga" video was uploaded to YouTube on March 15, 2023.
On March 15th, 2023, YouTuber demonflyingfox uploaded an AI-generated video titled "Harry Potter by Balenciaga." The video, set to the song "Lightvessel" by Thip Trong, imagined Harry Potter, Severus Snape, Hagrid and other characters from the Harry Potter universe as fashion models for the French fashion house Balenciaga. The video included iconic lines from Harry Potter movies altered to reference Balenciaga, also AI-generated. The video (shown below) accumulated over 3.6 million views in three weeks.Balenciaga AI Videos | Know Your Meme
The "By Balenciaga" meme template has been applied to world presidents, famous scientists, the Bible, and even World War I & II:
Think you've got an idea that hasn't been tried and are itching to add to the zeitgeist or just curious about how these videos were made? Here's a step by step tutorial that illustrates just how easy it is: