gaming design and fashion design merge - Grande Vegas' take

As video games and games for the online casino become more intricate and detail-oriented, people designing fashions and accessories for game characters are finding that they can turn digital design into thriving fashion businesses. Advances in designer technology allow designers to create intricate and sophisticated drafts that fashion companies bring into real life.


Fashion and Gaming

Over the last few years fashion has embraced gamers and gaming. One reason is that gaming has become mainstream as the new becomes normal and brands seek inspiration within the gaming sector. Conversely, fashion has come to view gaming as a form of immersive media.

The fashion industry sees fashion as a vehicle for “selling the dream” or “telling the story.” Fashion houses and fashion designers view the opportunity to create a vision that customers can explore and enjoy while they are free of restrictions and reality as a dream.

Gaming designers, however, don’t want to bring recognized brands into the gaming space. This would cross the line between the “real world” and the “virtual world” and might turn off players who are looking for an immersive experience that allows them to enter an alternate reality.

Yet the world of storytelling is shaped by clothing. Each avatars' clothing reflects his or her character in the video game. That’s true regardless of whether they're villainous characters wearing elaborate armor, rebellious zombie-fighting heroes who wear leather vests and combat boots or wild-eyed aliens in suits from outer space.

The issue of women’s dress in video games has drawn a lot of criticism. Women are often portrayed wearing small bikini tops that barely cover large breasts, micro-mini skirts and other exploitative types of clothing which often end up contradicting the storylines and character missions.

Designers who create virtual costumes for games have a unique opportunity to create fantasy and functionality through garment construction without being hemmed in by real-world constraints like human form and gravity. Costuming in video game development produces richer gameplay increases opportunities to monetize skins which benefits both the fashion and the gaming industries.

Virtual Fashion Designers

Many gaming fashion designers attract notice through the virtual outfits that they design. A number of these designers are taking their designs to new levels, opening their own virtual fashion houses where they create pieces for different platforms.

Their growth is fueled by platforms like Roblox which are making it easier to monetize digital fashion. As the number of gamers grows worldwide, so does interest in the games’ fashion designs. Some designers come from the world of fashion while others get their start within the gaming world.


Some game designers focus on NFTs. One is Republique, a UK-based digital fashion house that designs virtual collections for brands to help them enter the gaming space. Their designs for brands such as Adidas, Axel Arigato, Coach and Ester Manas allows the brands to turn the physical product into in-game wearables (NFTs).

Republique has already worked with gaming companies including Fortnite, Sandbox, Zepeto, Ready Player Me and Decentraland. Requblique founder James Gaubert told Vogue Business, “Asos’s consumer base is quite young, for example, so maybe for them, it's more of a Roblox or a Fortnite route.

For Coach, they’re at a premium luxury price point, so maybe more suited to Decentraland, a slightly older market.” Gaubert explains that Republiqe helps clients determine how they can monetize these digital assets as in-game wearables or NFTs.

Mass market brands tend to go for high-volume, low-value digital fashion where the potential to sell more skins for less money pays off in the end. For instance, in a game like Fortnite, skins can go for $1 - $3 per piece. More pricy, high-end fashions might be sold as NFTs at a premium price of up to $2000 in lower volumes in a venue like Decentraland.

Digital fashion houses are seeing sales growing as awareness of the industry’s potential increases. That potential could be heading into the mainstream as the first course for digital fashion design has recently opened at the University of the Creative Arts (UCA) in southern England.

Neil Bottle, the course’s program director says   “Our students are so well equipped for the future. When they go for job interviews they'll likely know more than the people interviewing them.”


As awareness of the potential of digital fashion grows, the fledgling industry must now focus on the education of potential clients and collaborators.

Much of this education is taking place on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter where, slowly, designer studios are communicating their work and its relevance to brands that want to shape culture.

Christina Wootton, VP of global brand partnerships at Roblox, agrees. “Some of our creators have been creating digital fashion for a decade (long before brands caught up with those trends), and now many are being approached by top brands to create items or experiences for them” she said. “We strongly believe that the next generation of fashion designers are cutting their teeth on Roblox where anyone can be a creator.”

The designers face additional challenges above and beyond the need for them to educate. Working with platforms like Roblox may seem lucrative but for every $1 that comes in, the designer gets only $.10.

In addition, they deal with corporate red tape as brands and platforms navigate through the decision-making process which can remove the possibility of community feedback and iteration.

Mishi McDuff of Blueberry explains how important it is to the designer to be able to get feedback on concepts early in the process that will inform design decisions later one.  “It works both ways because it makes my community feel like they're part of things, but it also means that we’re making products that they will buy.”

Blueberry COO Katherine Manuel expands, explaining that as gamers themselves, virtual fashion designers are best suited to understand the needs of the gaming community, especially when it comes to women.


As the Internet moves into Web3 territory, designers say that the best promotional tool is word of mouth as gamers make their recommendations in–game chats or on Twitter, Discord, TikTok, YouTube and other gaming platforms. They rely on real-life influencers to wear and co-sign their products to extend their reach.

Republiqe partnered with the Monnier Frères accessories store to produce a store in Decentraland for Metaverse Fashion Week. Blueberry relies on placements in virtual fashion magazines and virtual influencers to spread the word about new items.

With the maturation of Web 3 and the Metaverse, gaming is expected to continue to surge and high-growth fashion brands will be able to continue to develop their deep knowledge of gaming with their expertise in 3D fashion design.


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