Does high fashion have a place in the esports community?
Riot Continues Collaborating with Louis Vuitton, Bringing High Fashion to Players In and Outside LoL
The next skin in League of Legends’ esteemed collaboration with Louis Vuitton has been revealed: up next from the True Damage group (Qiyana, Senna, Ekko, Yasuo, and Akali) is Senna. League’s newest support-marksman hybrid receives the prestige edition of her skin, complete with Louis Vuitton branding, during the next event. But just how did this collaboration come to be? And what does it mean for the future of the space, now that even high fashion brands are becoming involved with esports?
Louis Vuitton’s initial foray into the League of Legends sphere was through designing the Worlds 2019 trophy case. The most prestigious event had the most prestigious of prizes, thanks to the established luxury brand’s dedication to quality.
Digitally Decked Out by Louis Vuitton
For every True Damage skin to have their outfits designed by Louis Vuitton’s head designer of womenswear Nicolas Ghesquière is something magical indeed. Fashion-wise, the aesthetic carried by each individual and as a group composition all appropriately convey their personalities and identities. The group being a hip-hop band just further amplifies the emphasis on streetwear, and Louis Vuitton signing Off-White designer Virgil Abloh for their unrelated menswear line does show their dedication to the rising trend, popular with young people as luxury fashion becomes more accessible than ever.
Esports and Haute Couture
Alongside the skins themselves, Louis Vuitton launched a League-inspired (note the inspired) fashion line. They may be the fashion brand most prominently involved in esports, but they’re not the only brand getting involved – Gucci invited Fnatic’s LoL team to be front-row guests to their latest fashion show, and even invited the players to model a collection or two.
With the aforementioned ready-to-wear collection selling out in under an hour, it does call into question just who is purchasing these items – the answer, of course, being not your average League fan.
Community outrage and questioning of brand quality at the price point wasn’t altogether unexpected, with most League fans being fairly young relative to Louis Vuitton’s target audience as a premium fashion brand. However, the fact that the line sold out almost instantly, despite western social media (Reddit, Twitter) being incredibly volatile in their reactions does indicate that the collaboration was a success. League of Legends and Louis Vuitton are both incredibly popular in China and South Korea, both of which are notable for the omnipresence of luxury items in high society.
League of Legends’ market appeal spans multiple audiences, and while the overlap with Louis Vuitton consumers may not be too great, it’s still a significant amount in the grand scheme of things. Enough to deem this partnership a success so far, and more than enough to have convinced a member of our staff to buy a $500 belt.
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