Streetwear and gaming : The unusual union of two modern philosophies

April 30, 2021 8 min read

Streetwear and gaming : The unusual union of two modern philosophies

Since the 80's, gaming has gradually become part of our lives until it has become an integral part of our daily lives. To go from arcades, to game consoles and then to cloud gaming services in the space of a few years, is quite crazy. Now that gamers have reached their long-awaited moment of glory, clothing and streetwear brands are finally starting to pay them some attention.

The perennial relationship between gaming and urban fashion has come of age, giving birth to a whole new category of athleisure clothing. Let's take a look at the little streetwear wonders that video game lovers can afford today, and how it all came about.

Gaming and E-sports: more than a hobby, a way of life

gamers and streetwear

Over a period of a few decades, video games have invaded our daily lives. If their place is obvious among true gaming lovers, others are quite perplexed by this almost absolute invasion. After all, it's quite curious to dedicate clothes to e-sports, isn't it ? Well, not at all. We explain to you why gaming streetwear is a very important topic.


The evolution of gaming

Although video games are still a source of controversy, we can say that things are moving in the right direction. We've come a long way from the days when it was a hobby for marginalized and misunderstood nerds. Sure, it's still hard to explain to your parents that you can't pause online games, but you feel their efforts somewhere. After all, they too were once threatened with having their consoles taken away.

Not only do we not carry as much stigma about it anymore, but it has practically become the hallmark of our generation. In addition to the many gamers who make it their livelihood, many celebrities proclaim their flames to video games. It's not just a hobby to be indulged in, it's become a real passion.

Another novelty that shows its importance is the numerous gaming tournaments organized on an international scale. And yes, no millennial would have believed that Street Fighter championships would end up on TV, but they do. !


Gaming is nowadays considered as e-sport, a discipline that shares many characteristics with traditional sports. Have we finally accepted video games as a valid form of entertainment? Despite the unfounded accusations about inciting violence, and the prejudices of the older generation, we can say yes.


Why streetwear and gaming go together ?

With the most engaged international audience, the gamer and e-sports community is one of the most active. Obviously, such a group has not gone under the radar of the big brands in search of young and connected customers. At first, the most palpable interest was directed towards hardware, everything from the latest gamer PCs to professional set-ups.

However, lately, people are starting to think about clothing and style. Hence the appearance of the first merchandise, a way to support the developer team while having a t-shirt of your favorite game. This is one of the first crossovers between gaming and streetwear.

Since urban fashion is a wonderful way to express oneself, and to promote a sense of individuality, it fits entirely into the spirit of gaming. For many designers, it's not just the challenge of the project that motivates them. It is above all the passion and the drive that gamers have towards video games..

merchandising call of duty

As an example, Joe Perez, a great designer and art director, is completely enchanted by Call Of Duty. That's why he accepted to work on a limited edition for the first season of the CoD International Championship. The oldest FPS game will remain forever engraved in our minds thanks to streetwear !


A new form of Athleisure

It seems simple to want to merge the world of gaming and streetwear, but in practice, it is rather tricky. Today, the fact is that the equipment of e-sport enthusiasts differs greatly from that of top-level sportsmen and athletes. And for good reason, their origins and specificities differ greatly from each other.

While athletes need large ranges of motion and high-performance materials, gamers do not. It doesn't require as much physical effort, if you know what we mean. This is where streetwear comes in.

The design of special gamer outfits is inspired by the very essence of gaming. Fairly casual and comfort-oriented, they are all about feeling good about yourself. We already see many similarities with urban fashion. To that, we add a sleek aesthetic and a light, modern profile. In the end, gamer gear is a new style of athleisure, which is a bit out of the ordinary..

Overwatch League streetwear

Such is the case with the exclusive collection from Overwatch League, one of the biggest professional e-sports leagues. Unlike the sports gear you might expect, these e-sport bombers are inspired by the cherry blossom.                                                                                                                                                                                              

The special Gamers clothing collections

We'd love to dress up in the colors of our favorite video game, but sometimes it's not all fun. We have the impression that brands don't really understand how gamers want to dress. Between poor quality outfits, counterfeit official merchandise, and the real artistic disasters that are circulating, the level doesn't fly very high. Nevertheless, there are some real nuggets that make you dream, especially thanks to the recent involvement of twitch streamers and others. We are finally starting to model the true face of gaming as a community  !


How long has this been going on ?

Nike Playstation

To understand the fine involvement of streetwear in the gaming world, we have to go back to the very first creations. Even though they didn't look like much, their primacy has allowed us to trace the trajectory of future collaborations !

  • Nike EA Sports: simple, but effective, the Air Force 2 in the colors of EA Sports are real collector's items. In 2003, Nike was the first to join forces with video game brands. As a result, gaming athletes were crazy about them, and this first release brought the two communities together for the very first time.

  • Nike Playstation: Instead of stopping there, Nike multiplies the success with its Air Force 1 PlayStation. Iconic sneakers that we have seen worn by big names, including our idol Kobe Bryant.

  • Adidas HALO: Another special edition sneaker that is all the rage with NBA players. The famous HALO video game series is coming to your life in the form of a pair of super stylish Adidas Gil II Zero.


Streetwear, Athleisure and Gaming: the trend of the moment

Since the beginning of the 2000s, gaming streetwear has evolved a lot. It is no longer a question of simple pairs of sneakers discreetly customized. They are much better worked and personalized collections in order to bring a real artistic touch.

gaming and streetwear

The clothing is unique and has designs specifically designed for the community in question. The big brands have reached out to the gaming world in order to get involved in the interests of the new generation. It can be said that these lifestyle partnerships have adapted to the big events and news in the gaming world.

One of the most prominent examples is the EA Sports x Adidas Collection, designed specifically for the launch of Need for Speed: Run in 2011. This long-awaited release not only featured shoes in avant-garde metallic tones, but also high-end t-shirts and hoodies. Or UNDFTD, a streetwear sneaker store that is at the helm of exclusive HALO 5 merchandise.

Still in the gaming spirit, luxury brands want to be the new ambassadors of the cult games. This is the case of Prada, which borrows the face of Lightning, the main protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII 2012, for its advertising. Or Louis Vuitton, which makes him its official effigy.

lightning from Final Fantasy in prada

The same goes for Moschino, a well-known Italian brand, which spices up its capsule with a touch of Super Mario Bros. In fact, what could be more Italian than the ultimate Nintendo game ?

Sometimes it works the other way around too. For the design of Errolson Hugh's coat, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the developers called on the talents of ACRONYM. The virtual is inspired by reality, and vice versa !


The 3 essential collections  Streetwear x Gaming

Enough chit-chat, we know what you're most interested in: the latest trends and the big releases coming soon. Just so you know, the last few years have been a record-breaking time for luxury gaming. So here are the three most legendary collaborations of the moment :

1. Louis Vuitton x League of Legends

It's no secret that Riot Games' hit game, League of Legends (LoL), is one of the biggest e-sports leagues of the moment. It's only natural that high fashion designers, like Louis Vuitton (LV), would want to be associated with it !

Louis Vuitton x League of Legends

 

A brief background is in order. In 2019, on the occasion of the LoL International Championship, the major fashion brand made a novel box to contain the edition's trophy. The mosaic engraved with the iconic symbol of Louis Vuitton beautifully decorated the gift of the champion, similar to the suitcase designed by the same brand for the celebrations of the soccer world cup.

During the event, we also notice many exclusive skins designed by the artistic director of LV especially for the occasion. Qiyana, a character from the game, was dressed in Louis Vuitton from head to toe for the duration of the championship.

Soon after, a collection inspired by the League of Legends universe hit the brand's windows. The skins were revamped to have a modern look while still conforming to the game's aesthetic. The French brand's canvas was improvised in careful camouflage in the colors of League Of Legends.

2. 100 Thieves x Gucci

A true clash of the titans! Each in their own bubble, Gucci and 100 Thieves are real masters of clothing. On one side, we have the luxury brand known for its sobriety and elegance. On the other, the most popular gaming streetwear brand on the market.

This collaboration marks the next generation of luxury gaming apparel. This exclusive capsule available from July 19, 2021 promises to revolutionize the wardrobe of young gamers with a passion for fashion. Featured on the front page, big game celebrities including Valkyrae, Neekolul and Yassuo.

100 Thieves x Gucci

The collection includes a limited number of backpacks: 200 unique pieces designed in an eco-friendly production. Bright red in color, decorated with leather bands and a silver medallion representing the 100 Thieves logo. On this project, they gave it their all to be in the gaming streetwear theme, while remaining classic and minimalist.

According to sources, this partnership is the first of many between the two brands. Their goal is to provide gamers with high quality gaming clothes made by real e-sports lovers supported by designers involved in the networks.

3. K-Swiss x MIBR

To end on a high note, we absolutely have to tell you about the One Tap by K-Swiss and MIBR released in 2019. Their tagline describes it well enough, to perform at your best, you have to feel good about yourself. This pair of sneakers with an innovative design is all about modern and futuristic. They are the ultimate gaming streetwear shoes.

These first ever e-sports sneakers were developed in collaboration with Counter Strike and Overwatch experts from IGC. The selected group of Brazilian professional gamers actively participated in the design of this little gem.

The watchwords were comfort, versatility and good control. In addition to the shock absorbing soles, the shoe has a ventilation unit to regulate the temperature. The body is woven from breathable and well-connected materials. Obviously, design was also at the forefront, hence the bright colors and decorations.


All in all, we can say that gaming streetwear has more than one trick up its sleeve. Between merchandise that gains in quality and collaborations with luxury brands, video game addicts are really spoiled. Soon, it won't be simple printed t-shirts anymore, but collector's items that will be snatched up at each release !


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