COVID-19 has had a negative impact on practically all industries in the economy. However, the gaming business has grown during this period. As seen by the millions of subscribers and watchers of gaming channels and videos on the internet, the gaming industry has a broad reach. This is thought to be a huge opportunity for fashion brands. As a creative and dynamic sector, the fashion industry has begun to partner with numerous games and e-sports to market and sell their items in-game. For a long time, fashion brands have collaborated with sports franchises on apparel, shoes, and sports kits. Some examples of such collaborations are Wimbledon’s partnership with Rolex, Louis Vuitton’s connection with the NBA, and Prada’s tie-up with America’s Cup.s
A new trend of fashion brands cooperating with gaming has just emerged. The gaming sector is flourishing, and it is reasonable to assume that this trend will continue. People who cannot afford the products of luxury fashion labels can now buy them virtually for a lower price in-game. “Final Fantasy” is a video game with an avatar named “Lightning.” In 2016, the prominent fashion brand Louis Vuitton utilised Lightning to model their items. Louis Vuitton later collaborated with the popular video game League of Legends. LV created clothing for the avatars of the game’s players, and it also released a tangible collection of clothing inspired by the game. This alliance aimed to sell the brand’s products to millions of gamers.
Prada conducted AW18 show which was attended by “Lil’ Miquela”, a virtual instagram influencer, by way of instagram stories and drone shots of the show. In 2020, Travis Scott conducted a concert virtually on the game “Fortnite”, enabling the players to attend the concert through their alter egos and to purchase the merchandise of the concert for their alter egos. Previously, Honor, Samsung and the National Football League have also collaborated with “Fortnite” to market their products virtually. In 2020, Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui and Valentino partnered with “Animal Crossings: New Horizons”, to launch in-game looks for the avatars. Moschino collaborated with “The Sims” making apparels available for the players to purchase for their alter egos in the game.
The players of “NBA 2K” can purchase Tissot watches for their avatars using the currency earned by them in the game. The 2021 autumn collection of Balenciaga is to be launched through a game called “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow”. The Nook Street Market is an instagram page, providing the opportunity to the players to customize their avatars. The Nook Street Market has collaborated with brands such as Prada, Chanel, FILA, Glossier, Off-White to provide the customisation services to the players for their avatars, helping them in creating an individualistic virtual social identity.
In the fashion industry, the brand keeps launching new collection in certain intervals. The gaming partners are not allowed to use the design and trademark of the product licenced to them forever. Therefore, the contract between the parties should clearly mention the term for which the licence has been issued.