Esports and Street Culture: Origins.
Luxury fashion and streetwear with a hint of enthusiasm for sneakers is a new way of self expression. In recent times, the streetwear fashion and sneaker industry has started to plant its roots in Esports/gaming. In fact, the gaming industry might be their new playground. As unusual as it sounds, both the industries already function hand in hand. Still confused? Let me explain.
The world of competitive gaming is on the rise. Over the last decade, online gaming has grown immensely with millions of fans competing against each other (Squad/duo/solo). This has turned casual gamers into stars with 7-figures income. Although their primary income source is prize money, professional gamers are increasingly branching out to monetized platforms such as YouTube and Twitch to earn through content creation. With the Esports industry growing at a significant rate, many Esports teams and players are given massive endorsement deals. The question that arises is, how does this novel synergy between Esports and high fashion create a win-win for both the industries? The answer is fairly straightforward. Video games and Esports have become keys to connect with Gen Z and millennials. In fact, 65 percent of the fans are aged between 18-35 out of which 38 percent are women. This particular industry is worth over $160 billion dollars. There’s no doubt that Esports has evolved into a mainstream entertainment platform and gamers are being celebritized more than ever.
To talk about these collaborations in detail. Here are some of our favorites that happened in/over the last decade:
FaZe Clan X Anti Social Social Club.
Before we jump into the collaboration, let me brief you about the ‘what is FaZe Clan?’.
No offence, but if you haven’t heard about FaZe Clan then you’re probably living under a rock. Founded on May 30, 2010, FaZe Clan is a professional Esports and gaming organization based in Los Angeles, US. Originally gaining momentum as 'FaZe sniping' on YouTube, they went from uploading trick-shots videos to planting their roots and ruling over games like CS:GO, Call of duty, Fortnite, League of Legends and many more. The collaboration between Anti Social Social Club and FaZe Clan ranged from Designer tees and hoodies to custom controller skins, mousepad and a whopping $10,000 limited edition custom PC. Although the exact sell out time is still unidentified, the whole collection was sold out after a few minutes of its release. In addition, the FaZe clan are no strangers to sold-out collaborations. They have partnered with Beats by Dre, Kaws, Lyrical lemonade and many big companies, generating over $100 million in revenue.
Louis Vuitton X League of Legends
The majority of the fans were scratching their heads when luxury fashion label Louis Vuitton announced a capsule collection in collaboration with Riot Games’ “League of Legends”. Who would have thought a collaboration between these two companies would happen, which are totally unrelated to each other. However, the news was as realistic as ever and it makes a lot of sense. Fashion brands are now on the pathway to collaborate with the gaming industry as it is a driving force to a huge amount of potential customers. Furthermore, the following collection was spearheaded by LV women’s artistic director Nicolas Ghesquiere. The collection features a pretty impressive array of apparel. From tees with League of Legends (LOL) Qiyana on the front and back to hoodies, silver monogram jackets, tracksuits and sporty apparel. The prices ranged from a $170 bandeau to a $5600 jacket.
Travis Scott X Fortnite
When you think about the best style icons in the rap game, artists like Kanye West, Young Thug, A$AP Rocky and Drake come to mind. However, Travis Scott is on the rise to take over the fashion world. Beginning with sell-out sneaker collaboration with Nike to modelling for exclusive Dior x Jordan drop, La Flame is all over the place. It was during last year's quarantine when Epic Games announced a virtual concert in their most popular battle royale title ‘Fortnite’ featuring Travis Scott. The event took place in-game on an isolated island where online players were automatically denied access to their weapons and were restricted to damage other players. The 10-minute virtual concert was a visual masterpiece with over 45.8 million players watching it live in-game including replays. Apart from this, fans were blessed with Travis Scott skin which could be purchased for 1500 V-Bucks. The skin featured La Flame in brown utility pants with his custom Air Jordan 1 High OG.
There’s no doubt that in a few years Indian players might get some spotlight from sneakers or streetwear brands. This will help elevate the Streetwear and Sneaker culture in India which is pure ‘HYPE’ right now. In addition, it’ll help expand its customer base since the majority of the population is still unknown to streetwear and sneakers.