This story is part of our new The future of games series, a three-site look at gaming’s most pioneering technologies, players and creators.
Video game fashion is often uninspired and Hot Topic-adjacent: T-shirts with the game logo ironed on the front or zip-up sweatshirts with a bold print of an animated character. It’s rare to see a piece of merchandising that looks like it came from a game world (like he Elysée Nightclub jacket) or one that’s subtle enough to wear to dinner without anyone knowing you’re acting out your favorite role-playing game.
When I first saw”The lands in between,” he Elden Ring-Inspired by luxury streetwear brand ARK/8, I felt like I was looking at the future of gaming-related fashion. There’s nothing so high-concept that it’s impossible to wear (the line is still firmly rooted in an urban aesthetic), but the entire collection could easily be worn by someone strolling through SoHo, or captured and posted on Instagram by Looking at New York and no one would know that it refers to a video game.
A lush blood-red faux fur coat that looks like the lion on Godfrey’s shoulder, an oversized, menswear-inspired white shirt with Queen Marika stretched across the back, some elegantly distressed crewnecks, all if It’s like that. elegant and so cool that I can’t help but get excited when I see it all.
I was so curious about the person behind the designs that I reached out via email to ARK/8 Creative Director Dimitri van Eetvelde to find out what inspires him and what he thinks is the future of gaming fashion.
Find fashion inspiration at Elden Ring
First, van Eetvelde made one thing very clear: ARK/8 is not a video game merchandising company, it is a “fashion brand with gaming and pop culture as its DNA.” He compared it to how “skateboarding is part of the DNA of brands like Supreme or Vans.” For him, too many gaming-related clothing items are “very safe” items, such as “printed basics or clothing that is more suitable for cosplay and gaming conventions.”
“The problem is that most licensed companies don’t care about games, it’s just a business decision. They sell the same t-shirt, whether it’s Jack Daniels or Iron Maiden or Assassin’s CreedVan Eetvelde understands this approach because he’s done it before: His first fashion company, Level Up Wear, was a line of printed T-shirts and outerwear that started in 2007 and focused on printing branded content on T-shirts. For him, Level Up Wear “was the beginning of the concept of play and quality together,” although he soon reached a creative limit and wanted to find a way to further explore high-quality clothing and game-inspired designs. when ARK/8 was born, fully materializing in 2019 after several iterations (including, briefly, as high-end jewelry made in Italy).
The Lands Between collection combines high-end fashion with gaming, but not in a reductionist way; Although items like the Boss Door T-shirt or the Queen Marika button-down shirt clearly feature more obvious game references, there’s a sense of evocation at play here as well. . “We wanted to create a collection that didn’t feel like a repeat of the gaming merchandising model by focusing on key characters or iconography, or using heavily illustrated prints,” van Eetvelde said. “Elden Ring It was going to be approached not from a traditional asset/graphics perspective, but from a texture and world immersion angle.”
Brilliantly, the design team leaned into “content exploration and discovery,” which van Eetvelde says is a key part of Elden Ring How to Play From there two visual themes emerged: the maps and the Tarnished aesthetic. “The map is very well done,” said van Eetvelde, “the challenge was technical at the time, as getting it to look vibrant and detailed on different fabrics took a few tries.” However, the resulting “Our Lands Between bomber jacket” is pretty wild: a “seemingly infinite print” of the game’s map, with colors swirling across the model’s torso. Tarnished’s aesthetic is shown in the worn-out yet sturdy crewnecks, which van Eetvelde suggested mimicking how players start their careers. Elden Ring experiences. “You start from the bottom in the game, your clothes are in tatters. It’s tough, like most FromSoftware experiences, but there’s also that robustness, that persistence of getting up and dusting yourself off, death after death.”
The future of video game fashion
With individual items ranging from $145 to $2500, is a beautiful, if expensive, collection that elevates gaming-related fashion, and according to its lead designer, The Lands Between is just the beginning for ARK/8. He Elden Ring The collection is the “guinea pig” of the brand, according to van Eetvelde: it gave me a preview of a modern and eye-catching collection. Supervision coming soon that includes a D.Va bodysuit that I simply must have and a cool Genji-inspired zipper.
“ARK/8’s mission is to establish a platform to elevate the conversation about gaming and the incredible art, music and narratives that underpin these incredible entertainment creations,” said van Eetvelde. “There is a constant in this, it is not something unique like most collaborations. “Fashion is a way to express our passion and show games in a new light.”
During our talk, he cited a few other examples of the somewhat dissonant worlds of fashion and gaming meeting and creating something incredible. “I liked him Han Kjobenhavn Diablo IV track pieces for example, since they went further. I think he LOEWE X GHIBLI One was also really good because Jonathan Anderson really has a passion for Ghibli films and that comes across throughout the collection. It is full of details and complex executions. “I want to see more of that.”
For game developers and fashion brands, the spirit of ARK/8 can and should be harnessed for future collaborations. I want to see more high-concept runway pieces, more elevated streetwear styles, and less flashy ironed 1-Up mushroom zip-up hoodies meant to look like Samus’s power suit. Video games are visual wonders, bursting with color and creativity; let’s make more clothes and accessories that talk about that.