Looking Cool "In-Game" is Becoming More Important than IRL
Fashion is entering the world of video games, promising a much more attractive metaverse — and new business opportunities for a range of brands.
adidas x PUBG
on Nov. 8 for the Korean market, PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) released a set of Adidas jackets, sweatpants, sneakers and bags that game characters can wear and use. Players are given an Adidas Box, and as they fulfil various challenges, it gives them a random game item or Adidas-brand clothes item. The virtual clothes are winnable through Nov. 30.
The collaboration extends offline as well. People who purchase select products at some Adidas stores are being given free coupons for virtual Adidas bags to use in the game. That promotion runs through Dec. 20.
“The collaboration with Adidas Originals was done for players that want to express themselves,” said a spokesperson for Krafton. “We will continue to present unique and fun experiences through more collaborations with many brands.”
Balenciaga x Fortnite
Epic Games’ first-person shooter game Fortnite, played by some 60 million people every month around the world, partnered with Balenciaga in September to offer a range of virtual clothes from the designer brand. Players can buy hoodies, denim jackets and backpacks by Balenciaga using the in-game currency.
Balenciaga sells real-life versions of the game clothing online and in its stores around the world, including Seoul. T-shirts with the Fortnite logo retail for $498 and a denim jacket for some $1,345. The hoodies and baseball caps from the game are all sold out, the company reports.
Moncler x Fortnite
Fortnite has partnered with Moncler to bring yet another set of high fashion skins to the item shop. The third-person battle royal is one of the most popular video games at the moment, and a lot of that success is owed to its many collaborations. The game's item shop features skins bearing the likenesses of beloved characters from movies, cartoons, anime, TV series, and other games. Several musicians like Travis Scott and Ariana Grande are also present in the game. Their virtual concerts in Fortnite have been some of the most-viewed events in gaming history.
Meanwhile, Moncler is a French luxury brand that specializes in coats, jackets, and winter wear. They are most widely known for their articles featuring a signature puffy design and a small Moncler logo. As is to be expected from such a high fashion brand, one of their down jackets can easily cost about $1,500 in real life. This is not the first time that Fortnite has partnered with a fashion designer. Back in 2019, the game added several skins inspired by the Air Jordan line of sneakers and sportswear. More recently, Epic Games partnered with Balenciaga to bring streetwear to Fortnite. This was accompanied by an extensive marketing campaign on both sides, with the clothing designer releasing several pieces featuring Fortnite branding.
Now, Epic Games has announced on its website that it will be partnering with Moncler to expand Fortnite's fashion catalog even further. Two outfits will be added to the game, inspired by the 6 Moncler 107 Alyx 9SM collection from designer Matthew Williams. These will be available either as single-colour skins or as reactive ones. The latter will change colour depending on your altitude as a callback to the brand's Alpine roots. The crossover will also add a pickaxe, a glider, and a back bling item, all styled as umbrellas.
In recent years, video games have seen an increased interest from fashion brands. As the world becomes more and more digitized, designers are looking for new avenues to showcase their products and reach new audiences. The aforementioned Balenciaga x Fortnite collab saw the creation of a denim jacket that sold for nearly $1,300. Meanwhile, back in 2015, renowned French fashion house Louis Vuitton partnered with Japanese developer Square Enix. The result was a marketing campaign featuring the character Lightning from the Final Fantasy XIII games. While not as successful as more recent endeavours, it was the beginning of a relationship between fashion and video games that has only strengthened. Perhaps one day soon, players will be able to enjoy a full video game release branded after a fashion designer.