Style

Can PlayStation x Nike Really Make Video Game Merch Cool?

It's a cut above Warcraft and wet-look gel, anyway

BY MURRAY CLARK | Nov 27, 2018 | Fashion

Urban Outfitters, Playstation x Nike

As we spend our evenings of 2018 hog-tying KKK wizards on horseback outside Saint Denis, video games have never been better. What's more, what was once a niche practice of marginalised teens with bad skin now paddles in the mainstream: Red Red Redemption 2 alone sold 17 million copies in under two weeks, and video games are branching out into both TV and film as a medium proper.

Yet despite this widely-embraced hijacking of former nerd practice, video games have still struggled to permeate one corner of popular culture (and quite possibly the haughtiest corner of them all): style. While Warcraft movies make a whopping $433.7 million at the box office, official merchandise is widely reviled. After all, there's a big difference between watching virtual reality come to life on-screen, and actually wearing that stuff in real life.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Introducing the PG 2.5 x PlayStation colorway, a new collaboration with @Nike and @ygtrece dropping December 1.

A post shared by PlayStation (@playstation) on


That may be changing though. Just last week, Nike announced a collaboration with PlayStation in Oklahoma City. The lovechild: the PG 2.5, sneakers inspired by the brand's first ever console of 1994, and full of very literal references including Sony's signature square, triangle, circle and X controls, and the vibrant logo against a grey backdrop.

Sure, it's not quite as handsome as a Stan Smith. It's not intended to be. Playstation x Nike has wisely capitalised on two enduring trends du jour: menswear's obsession with logomania, and the nineties, which are now sufficiently far behind enough to be considered retro. Cue ardent gamers and hypebeasts alike cashing in when the PG 2.5 hits stores 1 December.This isn't the first instance of video game merch going cool either, with console-related tributes - again, from Playstation and Dreamcast - enjoying sold out status in Urban Outfitters. It's hardly Milan Fashion Week, sure. But streetwear is now a major signpost followed by the wider industry, and its moves are well mimicked by the big blue chip brands: Ralph Lauren recently joined forces with British cult label Palace, while Prada and Louis Vuitton both courted the Final Fantasy series with fully-realised CGI campaigns. Encouraging stuff.So don't write video game merch off just yet. For every T-shirt depicting a scantily-armoured Night Elf in the throes of passion, there may well be a cooler, vintage-tinged tribute to the video games of yore. It's a trend set to go multiplayer.

This isn't the first instance of video game merch going cool either, with console-related tributes - again, from Playstation and Dreamcast - enjoying sold out status in Urban Outfitters. It's hardly Milan Fashion Week, sure. But streetwear is now a major signpost followed by the wider industry, and its moves are well mimicked by the big blue chip brands: Ralph Lauren recently joined forces with British cult label Palace, while Prada and Louis Vuitton both courted the Final Fantasy series with fully-realised CGI campaigns. Encouraging stuff.

So don't write video game merch off just yet. For every T-shirt depicting a scantily-armoured Night Elf in the throes of passion, there may well be a cooler, vintage-tinged tribute to the video games of yore. It's a trend set to go multiplayer.

From: Esquire UK


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