How fashion brands have entered into the esports and gaming sector
This week, Team Vitality released version V.03 of its Adidas sneakers, which have been inspired by 1990s cereal campaigns. So we thought it might be interesting to discuss the emergence of fashion within esports and competitive gaming, especially how big luxury brands such as Luis Vuitton, Gucci and Ralph Lauren have got involved in the sector.
One of the reasons why esports has caught the attention of the fashion industry is undoubtedly its' increasing popularity and growing audience. With over 200 million of fans engaging with esports on regular basis worldwide, 73% of whom are aged under 35, it is no wonder that many brands see an opportunity to reach a younger demographic through esports.
Some esports companies are collaborating with fashion brands to promote gaming as a part of lifestyle. Fashion is a great medium to showcase such perception. Esports fans are increasingly able to purchase branded apparel or in-game fashion items that are related to their hobby and which make them feel more involved with their favourite teams.
High fashion brands in Esports? Really?!
Brands including Nike, Adidas and Puma have been furnishing esports teams with jerseys and sportswear for their athletes since almost the beginning of the industry. But in recent years, high fashion brands have also entered into the world of esports and gaming. Here is a list of three successful collaborations that will prove you wrong.
Luis Vuitton x League of Legends 2019
According to the Washington Post, LV Creative Director Nicolas Ghesquière worked alongside Riot’s artists to produce prestige in-game cosmetics and a physical capsule collection of bracelets, boots and bubble skirts. One of the League of Legends champions who received the high fashion treatment was Qiyana, a melee assassin whose circular blade was adorned with LV's famous monogram. Whilst the in-game skin was sold only for $10, in the physical ‘real world’ shoes that the in-game items drew attention to were priced at $350.
Gucci x Fnatic 2020
Gucci has collaborated with Fnatic to create a limited edition watch that showed the teams initials. The production was limited to 100 watches at a price of £1,150 each. The watches sold out in less than 48 hours after the launch.
G2 x Ralph Lauren 2021
The G2 and Ralph Lauren partnership marked as the first time in esports that a luxury fashion brand clothed a whole team on a long-term basis. Alice Delahunt, the Chief Digital & Content Officer of Ralph Lauren said that the collaboration:
“underlines our commitment to engage new consumers — including a generation of digital-natives who participate in gaming as a world-class sport and for entertainment.”
Unlike the other partnerships above, G2 did not create any customised fashion items with Ralph Lauren. The partnership is allegedly based on the shared value of the two companies and that is “sharing a pursuit of excellence.”
The fact that high fashion has entered esports and competitive gaming only affirms the growing economic, cultural and social importance of esports. Looking at the successes of the partnerships between fashion brands and Esports teams, we are excited to see what is about to come next.
What other industries will get involved in esports?