As esports audiences grow, both sports apparel companies as well as luxury fashion brands are showing growing interest in the industry. The latest such endeavor comes in the form of a week-long fashion showing that will highlight the key players and designs in the esports and fashion crossover.
Esports Fashion Week is the brainchild of Esports Fashion Group, a company whose founders have experience across a variety of fields including esports and fashion. One of these founders, Warren Fish, is also the co-founder of Gfinity. Their stated goal is to elevate esports fashion to new heights and build its future.
Esports Fashion Group’s team includes names from the worlds of esports, streaming and fashion: streamers Garrett “Shady” Smith and Azalia Lexi will be working alongside dancer and model Barney Banks. This diverse array of talent enables them to operate in different approaches to content creation and collaboration.
Esports Fashion Week
The first event that will showcase what this group holds in store will be Esports Fashion Week. A week-long event that takes a page from the likes of Milan and London, Esports Fashion Group hopes that the event will prove to be a hub for brands to showcase their latest collections. Beyond being merely a fashion show, Esports Fashion Week will seek to present the diverse talent in esports fashion that is crossing cultural boundaries since these do not exist as strongly in the digital and hyper-connected world of esports.
As the event is planned to debut in Q3 of 2021, the group has been busily forming partnerships with brands that will attend. They will have a symbiotic relationship with Esports Fashion Group, attracting interest and providing legitimacy through their presence, and will receive access to a new platform and content that will be jointly created with the group.
Who are the collaborators
Esports Fashion Group have been busy recruiting partners. So far, the confirmed collaborators are (in chronological order):
- H4X: an esports athlete and influencer apparel brand, H4X have some high-profile brand ambassadors like Tal “Fly” Aizik of Dota 2 fame, and their products are also sold in brick-and-mortar stores like Macy’s. They have also supplied organizations and events like ESL One and DreamHack. They were the first brand to announce they would be a part of Esports Fashion Week, where they plan to unveil their long-in-the-making “Cyber Athletics” collection.
- We Are Nations: specializing in gamer and esports apparel, We Are Nations in the past have partnered with teams like G2 and have created a dedicated esports merchandise store for Cloud9. Like H4X, they have experience with brick-and-mortar sales through their partnership with Nerd Street Gamers, which allows them to sell merchandise at their gaming facilities. They have stated the reason they joined EFG is that they see esports fashion as a potential leader in determining how culture evolves.
- Ford Models: the New York-based modelling agency had launched their esports and gaming division to represent talent in these fields in 2020. Their announcement of participation in Esports Fashion Week showed that it could act as a bridge to bring together esports and fashion in an organic way that can yield diverse and cross-sector collaborations.
- XSET: they are branding themselves as an esports lifestyle brand, offering merch, running active teams in games like Valorant and CS:GO and partnering with companies like with BBBSA and HyperX in 2021. They see Esports Fashion Week as a platform where they will be able to develop their fashion muscles as well as show what they can design.
- September Doves: Founded by Call of Duty player Thomas “Tommey” Trewren and Esports Fashion Group co-founder Ali Rezvan, September Doves have stated their goal is to become one of the premier esports fashion houses. Their line of clothing will be designed and manufactured in a way to ensure that they can be worn anywhere from a LAN event to a concert without seeming out of place.