There’s nothing new about the intersection of fashion and gaming. For as long as you’ve been able to slap Super Mario on a T-shirt, there’s been a relationship between the two worlds. But recently, the nature of that relationship has been shifting. In-game, players have an ever-growing array of options to outfit their characters, and more and more often those options are coming from brands we also encounter IRL. Online, iconic characters are being tapped to “model” clothes for fashion lookbooks. And in 2019, labels are clamoring to replace the mall-brand tees in your collection with high-fashion collaborations.
Consider this: This year, that Super Mario on your chest might not have come from a mall, but from Moschino. And if you’re tempted to write that off as a quirk of the industry—Moschino does play with pop culture like it’s, well, a game—you should resist the impulse. Because if you’re still hesitant to say that we’ve entered into a new era of gaming fashion, consider another thing: Louis Vuitton is in on the act, too.
Actually, Louis Vuitton has been in on the act; the label used the character Lightning from Final Fantasy as one of the faces of its spring/summer 2016 womenswear campaign. But this week represents an even bigger foray into the gaming world from a label that has a knack for tapping into new markets (see: streetwear, and the madness surrounding the collaboration with Supreme). The storied French fashion house has released a full capsule collection inspired by Riot Games’ League of Legends.
The collection was spearheaded by LV women’s artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière, and includes a new camo Monogram motif—accented with shades of blue and silver, or gold and silver—inspired by League of Legends’ famous champions, like the character Qiyana, who features on a T-shirt, too. It also includes a pretty impressive array of apparel and accessories. Much of it is designed with female shoppers in mind, but there’s a lineup of pieces—from tees and sweats to whatever bags or shoes strike your fancy—that have a distinctly unisex feel.
And while it’s a capsule, there are 13 looks on display—certainly not a small offering. Which begs the question, “Why?” Is Ghesquière taking time off from his design schedule to log on and crush his foes online? Perhaps not. But according to Riot Games, League of Legends has eight million people doing just that at the same time, every day. That’s a gigantic pool of potential Louis Vuitton fans, just waiting for someone to come along and give them a taste of the new golden age of gamer fashion.