The gaming world is huge right now. In fact, globally it was worth $91.5 billion in 2015, a 9.4% increase from 2014. It’s predicted that by 2017 it will be worth an incredible $107 billion. And it’s not just game geeks who are causing this rise in popularity either. 56% of gamers are male and 44% are female, 26% of players are under 18, 30% are 18-25, 17% are 36-49 and 27% are 50+ years old. This means that the absolute average female gamers are 43 years old, and the average male gamers are 35 years old. So let’s do away with the image of the nerdy teenager once and for all.
Another giant, the global fashion industry, which includes textiles, clothing, footwear and high fashion, is worth a staggering $3,000 trillion. So, is it any wonder that we have seen a growing trend of these two powerhouses forming an alliance?
Gaming, be it traditionally played with cards or on tabletop, video games or even state-of-the-art virtual reality, is deeply ingrained in our culture. It’s driven by some of the most innovative minds in their field who are pushing the boundaries in software and hardware. They’re inspiring a global audience, and it seems they’ve caught the eye of the fashion world too.
And of course, this makes sense. The fashion industry is built on a creative platform which takes inspiration from many avenues – history, popular culture and more. The clothes we wear from the high street are the watered down versions of avant-garde catwalk. So when we see some of the world’s greatest fashion designers touting their game culture fashion, we’re excited for what’s to come.
But how does this crossover work? Here are some of the leaders that are completing levels, killing bosses and taking fashion gaming…
Vuitton Gets a New Model
For its 2016 Spring/Summer range, Louis Vuitton decided to use a slightly different model – the character Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. A role playing game created by Square Enix, Final Fantasy is one of the most popular gaming franchises in the world, and XIII is the fastest selling title in the series, with over 7.48 million copies sold.
The digital aesthetic of video games is certainly evident in the Louis Vuitton collection. The fashion house wanted to push the identity of the heroine, or at least the idea that a woman’s actions can be so courageous, daring and provoking that she can become as bold and iconic as a video game character.
This combination of fashion and heroism is nicely demonstrated in the presentation video masterfully created by Square Enix, to showcase the new range. Shot like a video game trailer that found itself on a catwalk, it is not only an example of excellent advancements in video graphics but certainly a bold move from the fashion house. In fact, this isn’t actually the first time that Lightning has dropped her weapons and donned her heels: she’s also modelled for Prada.
(To view video, click on the image below)
The Kardashian App
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is the fashion world’s favourite game. With 28 million downloads and 11 billion minutes of play since its launch, it’s proving that the industry has embraced gaming. Here players have to increase their fame and reputation – starting as an E-lister and making their way onto the A-list. Unlike our other examples, here the fashion world enters the game as well as inspiring it.
Fashion giants such as Olivier Rousteing and Karl Lagerfeld have created countless outfits and accessories that feature in the game, and actually have their real-life counterparts. Players can live Kim’s life virtually, going on the same holidays as her and even wearing the same bikini that she has Instagrammed in moments earlier.
This isn’t Karl Largerfield’s first foray into the gaming world. In 2008, he featured as a new character in Grand Theft Auto IV, while his Fall 2015 show for Chanel transformed the Grand Palais into an Art Deco-inspired casino, celebrating the original form of gaming, before computers took over. Celebrities such as Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart bet at roulette tables while models walked around them, displaying the clothes. The roulette, inspiration for many classic films, books and moments in history, it represents a classic gaming style now joined by video games in inspiring fashion the world. The fashion industry has certainly decided that video gaming is in vogue for now.
DRKN your Game
Possibly the only fashion house that is inspired by gaming culture alone, DRKN is delving into the gaming market and reaching new audiences. More and more of us live in a virtual world, and DRKN are tapping into that trend – and with over 1.2 billion gamers worldwide, it’s a big one. This isn’t just about taking inspiration from gaming culture, it’s actually becoming part of it. They want to apply some of the rules of the gaming world and turn them into realities in our physical world.
Sounds a bit scary? Don’t be alarmed. DRKN say that it is the good elements of gaming that it is inspired by – such as community values. They want to create a uniform that gamers can wear in the real world, something that they can be proud of and help display their skills, preferences and character – take their avatar into the real world.
The brand’s entirely unisex collection was presented at the Stockholm Fashion Week for the Autumn/Winter 2016 show and perfectly reflected their notion of the spirit of the black mask. Dark, multi-wear outfits were uniform in each piece, allowing their creative gamers to go anonymously into the reality they occupy.
(To view video, click on the image below)
As the gaming world expands further into our reality, we expect that we’ll see many more examples of the fashion industry merging with virtual reality. And as our lives become ever more digital, reversely we envisage the fashion world stepping into the world of gaming. If there’s about to be a fusion of fashion and gaming, we can’t wait to wear it.