Jasmine Asia, a model and daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants, has been a passionate gamer since childhood. Asia now enjoys Call of Duty but her first love was fashion games such as Bratz’s early aughts. Asia said that she never wanted to be like herself and she is proud to be a professional model. Asia said, “I want to be an out-of this-world character every single time.”
Accenture recently reported that the global gaming industry is worth more than $300 billion. Gaming products aren’t just about the product, they also offer real estate that other brands can use to advertise their non-digital goods and sometimes even sell digital versions. Fortnite has partnered with fashion companies to add style to their metaverse. Players can change the outfits of their avatars with high-fashion items, style them however they like, and even buy digital clothes.
Gucci, Balenciaga and The North Face are all getting involved. Last year, Balenciaga presented its fall winter 2021 collection through .”Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow,” a game that accompanied a digital runway. Afterworld is set in 2031 and follows its hero through different zones, including a store, a deserted street, a forest, and a cave, as it tries to find a sword that will return the protagonist to reality. Meanwhile, Gucci has partnered with cult games like Tennis Clash, The Sims, Genies, Roblox, Pokemon Go and Animal Crossing to create items available for digital avatars to wear. In 2019, the Italian brand launched its own game in partnership with Forestry Games called “Gucci Grip,” the choose-your-own-adventure journey saw a skater advance through various settings by collecting Gucci-branded trinkets and badges. It was a hit with fans and industry professionals, earning it a nomination at 2020 Awwwards. This is one of the most prestigious competitions for professional web design.
Epic Games, an industry giant, announced on September 20 that it was joining forces with Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gavasalia to design outfits for Fortnite’s 400,000,000 users. Epic calls the game a “world full of experiences” and allows players to choose from a variety of gaming modes, including saving the world or fighting other players in a battle royale. They can also attend virtual concerts featuring Travis Scott and Ariana Grande.
Just like our physical world style is a key element in the metaverse. Emily Levy (Senior Manager of Partnerships at Epic Games) stated that fashion is an important cultural component of Fortnite and the Metaverse. “The whole player experience centers around agency, fantasy and self-expression, while engaging with other players.”
Social media is helping to make everyday life more science fiction. On TikTok, the #chooseyourcharacter trend has generated over 1 billion views this past year, with users reinterpreting the famous Super Smash Bros sound into scenarios that make their lives look like a game. They also dress for it. Creators use style to show their characters in each video. This includes pop culture and science fiction. Although the challenge isn’t directly related to gaming, it is a good example of how gaming is all about creating personas.
Julles Hernandez is a journalist and stylist based in Puerto Rico. She hopes to use her gaming knowledge to become a consultant and stylist for gamer crowds. Hernandez grew up in Puerto Rico and played Call of Duty and Halo as well as fashion games such the MyScene dolls’ programs. Hernandez says that this was what taught her how to use style as a way of self-expression. She first discovered esports when she began dating her boyfriend, a gamer. In August, she packed her bags and headed to Los Angeles for the Call Of Duty Championship to meet top gamers and present a business idea. Hernandez’s goal was to not only style the gamers but also to position them as important figures in the fashion industry, just like Asia.
Asia noticed that her gaming and fashion worlds are merging. Asia signed recently to ANTI Models, a agency that aims to dismantle traditional beauty standards. Her agent was less interested than she was in positioning her to be a model. She has been focusing on gaming crossover projects for the past several years with brands like Pat McGrath or Agent Provocateur. Asia is seen playing video games in brand’s lingerie for the “Fearless Femininity” campaign. The project is a great fit for Asia, who was raised believing her geeky interests would not be accepted outside of the gaming world. “I feel like a character. Just being connected to gaming heroes as a child, it’s natural for me feel like they can be represented.”