Responses by Erik Zarraga, creative director, BANILA Studio; and Miguel Zorraquino, director, Zorraquino.
Background: “This site is part of Transmissions: Heritage and New Creation, the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum’s international educational project aimed at schools and fashion students around the world,” says Erik Zarraga. “This project promotes immersion in the philosophy, technique and biographical context of fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga and connects his legacy with a new generation of designers.
“So, we redesigned the Transmissions experience and moved it to a digital environment,” Zarraga continues. “It was clear to us that, due to the characteristics and dimensions of the project, the website could not have a ‘traditional’ approach. We needed to do something special.”
“Beyond the educational project, we proposed the development of Transmissions as a meeting point between the past and future of Balenciaga’s work,” says Miguel Zorraquino. “Moreover, we do so at a time accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic when more and more cultural content is being consumed online and where areas such as fashion, art and design need to be rethought towards experiences such as this one.”
Design core: “The website has a minimalist character,” says Zarraga. “For us, it was essential to create a site that would highlight the images of the designs made by students of fashion schools participating in this project. They are the real protagonists. Also, the choice of simple but powerful typography and black and white are key elements of the design.”
“The whole design of the site focuses on providing a truly immersive experience to every user and contributes not only in digitizing this project but the whole museum,” says Zorraquino. “It was imperative to us that the Transmissions website would amplify traffic and interaction between the museum’s key audiences and enable them to share content and knowledge.”
Favorite details: “We are very satisfied with the pace and transition between projects and the variety of ways to navigate,” says Zarraga.
“We are proud to be part of a project that undoubtedly reinforces the positioning of the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum as a benchmark institution in the world of fashion and a leading exponent of the life and work of Balenciaga,” says Zorraquino.
Challenges: “The most laborious part of this project was the creation of the gallery,” Zarraga recalls. “Switching between display modes and using the filter—in these cases, it is important to integrate all the elements meticulously to make everything work correctly and make the transitions smooth and fluid.”
“Absolutely,” agrees Zorraquino. ”It was complicated to integrate more than 40 designs from 500 different students and to achieve a detailed portfolio for each one of them while retaining their own identity. All this, moreover, had to be done without losing the focus on disruptive design and user experience.”
Navigation structure: “We combined various forms of navigation on this site, including static pages, horizontal scroll and vertical scroll,” says Zarraga. “We opted for a smooth scroll to take advantage of the parallax effects and show the images of the students’ creations in the most attractive way.”
“All these characteristics make the site a varied project with many navigation options,” Zorraquino says. “It attracts the user to explore the world of Balenciaga.”