When a fashion house is as iconic as Dior, its design can be reproduced in nearly any media and yet be instantly recognizable. Kim Jones, the artistic director of Dior Men, proved this point by announcing the beginning of a partnership with the racing video game Gran Turismo 7 during the World Series Showdown in Szalburg, Austria.
The partnership, Dior’s first digital campaign, will feature new and exclusive Dior racing gear that can be added to a player’s driver avatar. Dior provides a new skin that sees the playable driver dressed out in a yellow and grey overall that’s accompanied with driving gloves, a set of race-inspired Diorizon sneakers, and a helmet completed in a blue and grey colorway by blending the house hallmarks with conventional racing themes.
The overalls have the Dior oblique on the top chest panel, as well as Christian Dior Atelier and the “CD” logo as sponsor-esque patches on the same panel. The number “47,” a tribute to the house’s first and formative fashion show in 1947, is embroidered inside the racer’s design and across the bonnet of the car, a classic De Tomaso Mangusta in a creamy golden tone, tying the entire collaboration together.
The first virtual capsule will be accessible only on PlayStation 4 and PS5 platforms on August 25th. In a news statement, Jones stated, “This interaction between Dior and the world of video games is a renewed call to push back the frontiers of creativity and imagination.” His creations, both in the apparel line and in the modified automobile, reflect this opulent aesthetic. Racing has never looked better.
Dior joins the ranks of elite fashion houses such as Balenciaga, Burberry, Valentino, and Prada in the alliance. All of the businesses on this list have entered the virtual world through partnerships with well-known, popular games. Balenciaga not only revealed their Autumn Winter 2021 collection via an interactive online video game, but they also worked with popular video game Fortnite. Similarly, Valentino used Animal Crossing, a then-viral Nintendo Switch life simulation game, to promote their Spring Summer 2020 and Pre-Fall 2020 collections.
Burberry looked East and created two exclusive outfits for Honour of Kings‘ popular heroine Yao, while Prada collaborated with Ubisoft on a one-of-a-kind project that incorporates Prada Linea Rossa into Riders Republic, a massive multi-player outdoor sports playground where you can experience the thrill of outdoor sports in the magnificent American National Parks.
It’s logical that fashion would want to capitalize on the gaming phenomenon. The e-sports and gaming sector, worth $159.3 billion, had 2.7 billion participants by the end of 2020, with the amount predicted to climb to 3.07 billion by 2023, resulting in fashion’s trendiest playground and tapping into the unlimited creative and financial potential it provides. According to Erin Wayne, Twitch’s head of community and creator marketing, “fashion collaborating with gaming is the next natural step in the growth of fashion.”
Gamers and e-sports enthusiasts all around the world have proved themselves to be beauty and fashion shoppers keen to spend money both in-game and in real life. This is due, in part, to a remarkable demographic shift: by 2021, 54 percent of women prefer to play mobile games, and 65 percent are more likely to make an in-app purchase, such as purchasing virtual cash or avatar clothing. In this new environment, companies are searching for ways to capitalize on the gaming audience through e-commerce.
“We firmly believe that games and interactive initiatives have a business relevance. They are key to offering an innovative and personalised shopping experience, which is what customers, millennials and gen-Z in particular are increasingly asking for.” said Paolo Mascio, president of Yoox.
With the global pandemic causing more gaming activity, we can see why fashion businesses (who have been affected hard by shop closures and unsold goods) have been amenable to incorporating games. While 2021 has demonstrated the enormous success of these collaborations, it has also offered up new avenues of monetisation for companies and is transforming traditional types of e-commerce. Given that gaming titans profit much from the cultural significance and income created by these lucrative integrations, it’s a win-win situation — and one that appears poised to continue in the future.