Fashion has always been known as a forward-thinking and innovative industry. As such, we can always expect to see new trends and technologies. They are emerging from a unique environment that can only be fostered by the fashion industry. And, an example of it is definitely Fashion Gamification.
The development of new artificial intelligence and virtual reality technologies is strong nowadays. Therefore, we are starting to see fashion implementing and experimenting with these technologies. Right now, various fashion brands are experimenting with fashion gamification.
Fashion gamification is simply the process of integrating aspects of video gaming, and video game mechanics, into business processes, like marketing campaigns. In other words, brands are using technology to create digital models of the clothes that they are actually making. If we think of fashion gamification in this sense, we can see how pervasive this phenomenon is in our mainstream media.
Maybe you’ve watched a virtual runway where all the clothes walked themselves. Or maybe you have decided to use a virtual closet app to help you better plan and track your outfits. It’s also possible that you have played some sort of video game that has had branded clothes and skins that you were able to have your character put on. These are all examples of fashion gamification.
Luxury and Video Game Crossover
To speak more about branded clothing in video games, there have been several collaborations between major fashion brands and popular video games. Some of these collaborations have included Moschino and Sims. Snapchat’s Bitmoji and Ralph Lauren have also partnered up. League of Legends has already had many partnerships with many big-name brands that include Louis Vuitton and UNIQLO. These are just a few of the many popular partnerships that have arisen as a result of fashion transitioning into the world of gaming.
Many other fashion brands have also ventured into fashion gamification and other video games have embraced fashion. Yet the question remains, why? At first glance, this may seem like an odd combination between industries, especially if you were to compare the initial images that pop to mind when you think about gaming and fashion separately.
However, as video games and gamers become less stigmatized, there has been increasing popularity and interest in the pastime. A large portion of people who find themselves playing video games fall into the generational category of ‘Gen Z’.
Now, fashion brands are making clothing lines accessible in these games or launching limited-time game exclusive lines. These actions are allowing them to engage in a way that meets the unique interests of their newest customers.
Fashion Forward AI
Fashion gamification comes in forms other than just video games. Recently in Kpop, there have been several groups created that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to project avatars of their members.
The more well-known instances of these experiments consist of SM Entertainment’s Aespa and K/DA, which is associated with League of Legends. As public figures, these virtual idols still possess a strong influence in the realm of fashion just like any other celebrity. The only difference is that all of their fashion has to be digital.
Recently Aespa had partnered with Givenchy to become ambassadors for the brand, though the ambassadors were the real-life women in the group rather than their AI counterparts. However, this wasn’t the first time that the brand had teamed up to give us a look into what could be a seamless blending of fashion and technology. Back in 2017, Givenchy served as the inspiration for a South Korean virtual reality (VR) company that released mockups of VR goggles.
This isn’t to say that fashion gamification can only result in virtual outcomes. Due to the group’s popularity, League of Legends has released a merch line for fans.
Gamification for Gen Z
Gen Z is a new challenge for companies across industries. They now have access to never before seen technologies and have different concerns than the buyers of previous generations. The main concerns cited by Gen Z consumers are affordability and sustainability.
This generation is entering an environment where the cost of living has increased while salaries have remained stagnant. This means that they have less disposable income than past generations. However, the online versions of brand-name items give them the chance to own a piece of luxury.
Not only are these virtual accessories much cheaper than the physical versions, but they come without the worry of contributing to fashion’s waste problem. For this reason, it is possible that many fashion brands will interact with Gen Z through VR.
Through gamification, longstanding brands are able to find a way to still maintain a position of relevancy to their young audience. Gone are the days in which billboards and subway ads were enough to stir excitement amongst the public.
Nowadays companies are looking for ways to relate with their Gen Z consumer base. Whether that be partnering with social media influencers or collaborating with their favorite entertainment platforms.