The rise of social media has brought endless surprises, influencers, and collabs in a web of connectivity and globalisation, including two opposite industries that had little to do with one another before.
While the cool, reserved world of gaming and technology could not have seemed further from the loud and expressive world of fashion, the crossover between the two in recent years has showcased their similarities. Now, with many of the biggest names in the business garnering huge online followings, gaming savants are quickly becoming style influencers, and fashion brands are fighting to dress them.
You may be wondering how these two seemingly opposite fields came together, and how will the unlikely relationship between high fashion and gaming evolve in the future? Let's take a closer look.
Of course, it's important to note how much the relationship between gaming and fashion has changed.
The original disconnection stems from the "unfashionable" gamer archetype, based on how gamers have traditionally opted for more comfortable outfit choices, such as neutral toned hoodies and sweatpants, especially as they may be sitting down more to focus on their game.
While fashion typically emphasises bold prints and patterns, strutting down runways and contorting in photoshoots, recent moves to athleisure and street style have brought classic gaming style and current fashion trends closer together, and fashion has increasingly recognised that style doesn't have to sacrifice comfort.
The relationship between fashion and gaming has also changed as gamers have taken over the world of live streams, where gamers play for hours as thousands watch, leading them to become more conscious of their personal image.
If you're wondering how the two have become so closely intertwined, fashion made the first move.
In a powerful move, Louis Vuitton approached League of Legends tournament organizers with the idea of providing outfits for players to wear and a luxury carry case for the winner’s trophy. Needless to say, the organizers accepted the offer, marking one of the first official collabs between the two industries.
As the relationship continues to grow, we'll be keeping an eye out for which labels on the rise as well as established fashion brands follow Louis Vuitton’s lead.
The growing bond between gaming and fashion doesn’t just stop at commercial fashion opportunities, with game developers also realising the higher interest for aesthetic clothing design elements in their games.
In a world of excess and endless choices, it's no longer enough for game developers to launch a character or avatar with little to no options for players to design and style every aspect of their appearance. The new samurai-inspired Ghost of Tsushima, for example, allows players to dye their clothes and armor using natural products collected within the game, and we don't expect the innovation to stop there.
Another increasingly attractive option is to work a fashion brand into the game itself, like the makers of The Sims did with Moschino, striking a deal in which players of the game could dress their avatars in designer outfits fit for the catwalk.
There are also more and more games that solely focus on fashion, including the mobile games Covet Fashion and Stardoll Stylista, and the list only grows.
With the fashion industry paying greater attention to games, it was only a matter of time before gaming’s biggest online stars started making moves on the fashion scene.
Influencers who are already making waves for their out-there style include the ever flamboyant and wildly popular KSI, whose Kings Will Dream street-wear label is selling rapidly. In addition, the ultra-famous Fortnite gamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has gone a slightly different route, partnering with Adidas to create his very own sneaker.
As fashion brands and gamers continue to find partnership opportunities in each other's businesses, this is definitely an exciting time for gamers who have a passion for style, and fashionistas who love to game on the side.
The gaming industry will undoubtedly continue to grow as brands from all other industries strike up partnerships with gamers and gaming companies in attempts to find new and exciting ways to reach their customers through the innovative world of gaming, the fashion industry included. The increase in interest for gaming makes games and the people who play them prime targets for new forms of in-game advertising, a practice that is already leading to many brands making serious revenue streams from selling virtual fashion products in-game.
As the gaming and fashion industries continue to build off and profit from one another, we hope this partnership keeps up its sentimental meaning for fashion geeks and gaming nerds alike. We're allowed to be both.