Gaming Glam: Exploring the Unseen Connections Between Luxury and Video Games
The fashion industry has now found itself entering the world of gaming, adjusting its marketing towards a new target demographic.
Fashion and online video games are now intersecting more than ever, and there is a clear link between the two. Today, players spend a lot of money not only on luxury clothes but also on the latest devices, cosmetics, and many more. It has reached the point that there are specialised platforms that offer gamers professional assistance in leveling up. For example, players of the cult MMORPG game World of Warcraft are known to invest significantly in enhancing their gaming experience. Apart from purchasing WoW boost services to navigate challenging raids with ease, they also spend considerable amounts on unique in-game items. These expenditures include rare mounts, which not only serve as prestigious symbols within the game but can also cost hundreds of dollars. Additionally, gamers often invest in customised gear and exclusive cosmetic skins to differentiate their characters. This trend reflects the deep commitment and financial investment players are willing to make in the realm of Azeroth, underlining the game’s impact in the virtual economy.
Considering that gaming is now not just a hobby, but an opportunity to make good money, it is no wonder that many fashion brands want to enter the video game industry. According to Vogue Business, the increasing number of fashion collaborations is primarily due to firms’ desire to direct their marketing towards their target demographic. In this post, we have collected the most striking collaborations between luxury brands and individual players or entire esports organizations. So keep reading — we have something to surprise you with.
The PlayStation Boxy T-Shirt, for example, is available in red and black and costs $675 per shirt. On the front, it has the PlayStation 5 logo with the words “Nov 2020” (the console’s release month and year) inscribed beneath in the iconic PlayStation typeface. This font appears again on the back of the garment, along with the PlayStation logo and the words “Balenciaga” beside it. The controller buttons — △, 〇, Χ, ☐ — printed on the sleeves and back are also noteworthy.
Burberry, the luxury fashion brand, joined the realm of gaming for the first time in July 2022, when they teamed with Korean esports squad Gen G. The two global powerhouses have launched a four-part instructional content series with the goal of celebrating women and inclusion in gaming. Each episode of the series includes an open debate about the problems that women experience in the esports and gaming communities, involving Gen G content creators and influencers as well as Burberry team members.
The collaboration series has tackled essential issues such as allyship, social platforms, and game creativity, with Gen G content producers Jessica Kim, Gloria “Ploo” Shin, and Krysta “Krystalogy” Eason participating.
League of Legends x Louis Vuitton
LVxLOL, Louis Vuitton’s “League of Legends” collection, was the brand’s first foray into esports. The least costly item in the initial drop was a bandeau for $170, but the matching vest and leggings cost hundreds of dollars for the entire fit. A cool “League”-themed biker jacket for roughly $5,600! According to a Reddit user who did the arithmetic, the jacket may cost more than all of the skins and characters in the game combined.
Global clothing brands not only collaborate with e-sports organizations but also with individual successful professional players. One such example is the collab of popular LOL player Martin “Rekkles” Larsson with the clothing giant Nike. For Nike, this collaboration with cyber sportsmen is not unique; the company previously entered into a partnership with another popular LOL player, Jian “Uzi” Zihao.
Puma x Cloud 9
The German sportswear brand became the official partner for esports jerseys of C9 in early 2019. Part of what makes Puma and C9’s collaboration so special is that it is all-encompassing. From shoes to jerseys, their collaboration has been one of the most long-lasting and inventive. While many of the collaborations on our list are limited to a single item, Puma and C9 have a large array of gear that is still available for purchase today.
Since the announcement, the two companies have released Puma TRC Blaze footwear, many accessories, and a stunning number of shirts and sweats. While others on our list choose limited editions, Puma and C9 exemplified the idea that fashion and esports can be a long-term partnership, solidifying Puma as one of the main garment manufacturers for gamers.
The burgeoning intersection of video games and fashion is reshaping the industry. This symbiotic relationship is fueled by luxury fashion brands recognizing the gaming community as a prime target audience. Some prominent collaborations like Balenciaga/PlayStation, Burberry/Gen G, and Gucci/Xbox highlight the synergy between high fashion and gaming. Even individual esports stars like Rekkles partnering with Nike showcase the industry’s evolving landscape, solidifying gaming’s presence in mainstream culture.
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