Someone on YouTube Reimagined the 'Harry Potter' Universe Dressed in Balenciaga For... Some Reason

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Mar. 29 2023, Published 4:23 p.m. ET

The advent of AI-generated art dances a fine line between technological advancement and flat-out art theft. While it might be fun to create AI art as a side project or even a silly meme, professional artists have expressed concern over its potential to steal other people's work in creating images. The Harry Potter franchise finds itself similarly polarized, with folks divided between the love for the classic story and its creator's ongoing transphobic rhetoric.

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What do these two have in common? Well, a recent YouTube video shows off some AI-generated images of Harry Potter characters decked out in Balenciaga fashion. Why? For reasons, that's why!

People are getting a kick out of the recent images, which depict the Hogwarts students and their colleagues as scene kids who take Balenciaga way too seriously. Capped off with quirky dialogue and some uncanny House Elves, this video has given Potterheads something to laugh at. Let's break it down.

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A YouTube video puts Balenciaga fashion on 'Harry Potter' characters.

You may have seen some weird images floating around on YouTube with titles like "The Avengers reimagined as a 1990s sitcom" or "Super Mario Bros. reimagined as a low-budget 1980s dark fantasy movie". Usually, those are people putting prompts into an AI image generator, which then compiles images based on the prompts. Within the past year or so, many people have posted the results on YouTube in order to show off people's favorite franchises in wildly different, hyper-specific settings.

In this particular instance, Harry Potter characters (or at least the closest approximation of their likenesses that AI can muster) are dressed up in Spanish luxury Balenciaga outfits.

The bizarre video begins with a handsome-looking Hagrid telling a yassified Harry Potter "You're a Balenciaga, Harry," a reference to the well-known revelation from the original series.

The video continues with a montage showing Harry, Ron, Hermione, and other popular characters wearing similarly fashionable attire.

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"To the well-organized mind, Balenciaga is but the next great adventure," Dumbledore says in the video wearing Balenciaga sunglasses indoors.

"There is no good and evil. There's is only Balenciaga and those too weak to seek it," a distinctly-nose-having Voldemort taunts.

The video even ends with Harry casting one of the most dangerous Unforgivable Curses, "Avada Balenciaga."

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The video was created by a YouTuber named demonflyingfox, who has used AI to generate other images of a similar nature. They've previously done AI mashups between Breaking Bad and yakuza films, Kenny from South Park and 80s sitcom tropes, and even oddball scenarios like Ned Flanders from The Simpsons meeting Walter White, just to name a few.

AI-generated art will never not be divisive, with many folks advocating to make sure it doesn't continue to steal art. Yet some folks find themselves transfixed by the uncanny images that people create using this method.

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