Video games have come a long way. Once portrayed as the preserve of basement-dwelling geeks, gaming is now a multibillion-dollar industry. According to figures released in 2015, the global games market was worth US$74.2 billion – in contrast, the global film industry’s cinema receipts for 2018 were only US$41.7 billion.
As video games have gradually moved to dominate the mainstream so too have they gained greater appreciation. Video games are studied for their cultural aspects at universities around the world and the Smithsonian in Washington has games as part of its permanent display, while dedicated gaming museums exist in Berlin, Rome and Moscow.
Even the elite fashion world has partnered with video game producers in recent years, ensuring a popular mix of high and lowbrow cultural items. Here are five memorable occasions when these worlds collided.
Prada x Final Final Fantasy XIII-2:
One of video games’ biggest franchises, Final Fantasy – with estimated sales of nearly 150 million – collaborated with one of the biggest names in fashion back in 2012. The tie-in was in celebration of Final Fantasy’s 25th anniversary. Although Prada did not create any new designs they permitted Final Fantasy artist and character designer Tetsuya Nomura to dress characters from the series’ newest game in the latest Prada items. The resulting spread was then published in London fashion magazine Arena Homme +.
Moschino x Super Mario:
Moschino are regular dabblers in amalgams of high and low culture. Before this venture with Nintendo’s flagship character, Mario, they had already released Moschino Barbie dolls and clothing that referenced McDonald’s. In 2015, they followed that up by creating a range of casual wear, entitled Super Moschino, which paid homage to the iconic platform game Super Mario World.
Giles Deacon x Pac-Man:
For spring/summer 2009, English designer Giles Deacon went back to the early 80s for inspiration. Using classic video game Pac-Mac as a starting point, Deacon created giant helmets shaped like the iconic title character and his enemy ghosts, as well as dresses embroidered with the same characters.
Moschino x The Sims:
Italian brand Moschino returned to video game collaborations last year in partnership with life-simulation game The Sims. The capsule collection, organised by Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott, included items such as a pixelated jacket and items that characters could wear in-game. Of the collection, Scott said: “I love the idea of being able to imagine, design and bring to life a world of individual personas with The Sims universe … That concept emulates what I get to do for each collection at Moschino as I create a fantasy universe of spectacular storylines and characters.”
Louis Vuitton x Final Fantasy XIII:
After the success of Prada’s work with Final Fantasy, Square-Enix, the creators of the series, lined up another big name fashion collaboration. This time, Lightning, the hero of the 13th instalment in the series, was used as a model by Louis Vuitton for its spring/summer 2016 collection. Explaining the partnership, Nicolas Ghesquière, fashion designer and creative director of the French fashion house said he considered Lightning to be the “perfect avatar for a global heroic woman”. LV even insisted that the fictional character do an “interview” to promote the partnership.
Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.