We’ve conducted a list of our favourite collaborations and initiatives from fashion powerhouses that are tapping into gaming culture via in-game skins.
By MEGHA PRAKASH
If there’s anything the virtual world has proven over the past two years, that is that the gaming world is no longer exclusive to solely gamers. The metaverse is now for everyone — and fashion brands are at the forefront of it all.
Those who enter the digital fashion world are now buying Balenciaga skins for their players and Burberry bags for their avatars. Legacy brands are building virtual shops on platforms like Roblox and allowing visitors to see their online presence and reflect upon their own. How do they want to extend their physical self to their digital ones?
Vans and Roblox
Californian brand Vans was definitely quick with entering the gaming world back in September last year. The skateboard brand created a virtual skatepark inside the gaming platform Roblox, called “Vans World”, which allowed visitors to skate around the park, visit their shops and explore. Players were also able to design their own virtual skateboard and sneakers. Also worth mentioning that the designers behind Vans World were Stockholm-based game development studio, The Gang.
Balenciaga and Fornite
Balenciaga and online video game Fortnite, launched a digital and physical collection together last year as well. Fortnite players could purchase Balenciaga x Fortnite clothing, ‘skins’, for their avatars and submit photos of their players wearing the digital garments in order to compete for a chance to be featured in a billboard campaign. This was quite a way to engage the gaming community with the fashion brand rather than the other way round.
Louis Vuitton created their own online mobile game, ‘Louis the Game’, which allowed players to collect NFTs by artist Beeple, in a virtual world. In order to win the game, each player had to collect 200 candles, 30 were created by the digital arts designer and could only be owned through the game.
H&M and Animal Crossing
H&M teamed up with online game Animal Crossing by creating an ‘animal friendly’ and vegan collection and presenting it through a virtual fashion show. The collection was an addition to the already existing ‘Loop Island’, which is a virtual place inside the game that H&M created together with Animal Crossing. Players can hand in their used digital garments in order to exchange them for new ones.
Gucci and Roblox
Gucci created, together with Roblox, a digital Gucci Town for players to take part in. Visitors have the chance to compete in the brand’s themed games, learn about the heritage of Gucci and explore the digital boutique. This is not either the first the brand collaborates with the gaming platform as just a few months ago, for their Flora campaign, they featured Miley Cyrus as an avatar on Roblox.
Tommy Hilfiger and Roblox
During New York Fashion week this year, Tommy Hilfiger decided to live-stream their fashion show, on Roblox. Online guests were able to choose between streaming the live show in New York City, or viewing the collection virtually on avatars.
Burberry and Minecraft
The latest one on our radar was Burberry collaborating with Swedish online game, Minecraft. Players are offered the chance to purchase Burberry printed skins for their characters and play in the brand’s famous printed world. A capsule collection encompassing the collaboration between the two, is available on the brands website and physical stores.