Balenciaga takes Normcore to the Next Level with Alipay Collab T-shirt

Despite online criticism, the 650 USD t-shirt has already sold out

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11:34 AM HKT, Wed June 5, 2024

In a major event signalling strategic expansion into the Asian market, Balenciaga unveiled its Spring 2025 collection in Shanghai last week on May 30. But as the dust settles on the debut showcase in China for artistic director Demna Gvasalia, one piece from the show is continuing to generate chatter online: a oversized black t-shirt featuring Balenciaga’s logo alongside that of digital payment platform Alipay.


Coming with a price tag of approximately 650 USD, this venture into the fashion world by Alipay (operated by Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba Group) has garnered mixed reactions on Chinese social media. Weibo and Xiaohongshu users dubbed the t-shirt as “the most expensive corporate uniform,” while Chinese Instagram users criticized the design. Yet despite the online backlash, the limited edition t-shirt, available only in the Chinese mainland, quickly sold out, with all of the 500 shirts up for sale getting snapped up. Naturally, Alipay and its digital credit card Huabei were offered as payment options.


Alipay Oversized T-Shirt are already sold out, photo via Balenciaga

Alipay Oversized T-Shirt are already sold out, photo via Balenciaga


Despite the controversy, sightings of individuals wearing the coveted t-shirt have begun to surface on Xiaohongshu, particularly in Shanghai and Shenzhen. As a ubiquitous part of daily life in China, Alipay hardly needs the extra attention, but it seems like some Chinese influencers are enjoying adding tech world swag to their outfits.


Banner image via Xiaohongshu.

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