PARIS — The gaming juggernaut continues to make inroads into luxury fashion.
Dior said on Saturday that Kim Jones, artistic director of menswear, has designed skins — the items players use to change the appearance of their avatar — and a customized vintage car for Gran Turismo 7, the latest installment in the hugely popular Gran Turismo series of racing simulation video games developed by Japanese studio Polyphony Digital.
“This dialogue between Dior and the world of video games is a renewed invitation to push back the limits of creativity and imagination,” Jones said.
The announcement comes as the advent of the metaverse blurs the traditional lines between luxury and entertainment.
Louis Vuitton was among the first brands to cross over into gaming in 2019, when it inked a partnership with Riot Games, the maker of the popular multiplayer online video game League of Legends, that included skins and a capsule ready-to-wear collection designed by Nicolas Ghesquière.
More recently, Balenciaga unveiled its fall 2021 collection in a video game titled Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow, and teamed with Epic Games’ Fortnite on a fashion partnership that also straddled the physical and digital worlds, with both skins and real-life pieces.
Meanwhile, Gucci in May raised the curtain on Gucci Town, a permanent destination on online game platform and game creation system Roblox. The space includes the Gucci Shop, a boutique where visitors can purchase digital Gucci items to collect or to outfit Roblox avatars.
The gaming market was valued at $198.4 billion in 2021, and is expected to reach $340 billion by 2027, registering a compound annual growth rate of 9 percent between 2022 and 2027, according to a report by India-based market intelligence and advisory firm Mordor Intelligence.
Dior’s inaugural virtual capsule collection, to be unveiled on Aug. 25 in Gran Turismo 7, includes a yellow-and-gray jumpsuit, matching gloves, reinterpreted Diorizon shoes and a blue-and-gray helmet. The designs incorporate the brand’s signature Dior Oblique motif, as well as the CD Diamond initials and a “Christian Dior Atelier Avenue Montaigne” patch.
The vintage Italian sports car, a De Tomaso Mangusta, is emblazoned with the number 47, a reference to the year 1947, when Christian Dior held his debut fashion show, famously launching the New Look.
“Dior is delighted to enter the world of gaming through our collaboration on Gran Turismo 7, the latest installment in this iconic series, taking the house’s celebrated innovation one step further into the future with this exciting bridging of virtual fashion and immersive digital experience,” said Pietro Beccari, chairman and chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture.
Kazunori Yamauchi, president of Polyphony Digital, a subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc., said the game-maker and the luxury brand shared an appreciation for meticulous design.
“Dior’s sleek combination of innovation and nostalgia, coupled with their keen eye for detail, closely align with how we approach the world of Gran Turismo. Coming together for this collaboration felt very natural, and it has been a pleasure working with the talented design team at Dior to bring their iconic brand history to our virtual world through this capsule collection,” said Yamauchi, the game’s creator.
A Hollywood adaptation of the video game is in the works, set for release in 2023.
Dior dipped a toe in the metaverse by broadcasting its spring men’s show in May live for the first time on Horizon Venues, the digital experience platform that allows viewers to participate in exclusive events thanks to a Meta Quest virtual reality headset and the Horizon Venues application from Meta.