Milan Fashion Week is one of the highlights in the fashion industry, and for the first time, an esports team was invited to sit on the coveted front row. The Fnatic League of Legends team took their place besides celebrities like Salma Hayek, Andrew Garfield, and Jared Leto to celebrate the new Gucci men’s collection.
The London-based esports team was outfitted from head to toe in Gucci gear, and the occasion marks another milestone in the (figurative) partnerships between fashion brands and esports teams. The event was Gucci’s first time back in the menswear schedule after a three-year break, and they decided to go with something modern that appeals to a different demographic. Representing Fnatic were Oskar “Self-made” Boderek, Martin “Rekks” Larsson, Zdravetz “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov, Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau, and Tim ” Nemesis” Lipovšek.
Craig Santicchia, Fnatic’s Partner Development Director, said about the event, “We’re extremely proud to have been invited by Gucci to attend the Milan Fashion Show as special guests on what is a cross over between the new world sport and fashion. Gucci has always been an innovative brand, pushing the boundaries, much like ourselves at Fnatic. Disrupting the norms and opening up new possibilities.”
The Fnatic League of Legends team fully deserves the recognition it’s received after being one of the most successful teams in Europe. They were founded in 2011 and have won a record seven EU LCS titles. In 2015 they won a perfect 18-0 split and are the only European team to win a world championship. But to be clear, no formal sponsorship between Gucci and Fnatic appears to be occurring.
With esports exploding over the last few years, it’s been gaining more mainstream popularity, which has attracted more companies wanting in on the action. Other fashion houses that have taken the step into the esports world include Louis Vuitton, who partnered with the League of Legends World Championship, and Armani Exchange, who sponsors the Mkers esports team. Sportswear giant Nike has also made some big moves in the industry by partnering with esports teams T1, SK Gaming, and the Vodafone Giants.
Just a few years ago, professional gamers flew under the radar and were hardly recognized outside their respective fanbases. Now they are celebrities, mingling with the fashion elite at places such as Milan Fashion Week. Hopefully, this is just the start and there are still bigger and better things on the horizon.
For more League of Legends news, check out the partnership between Burger King and Riot Games.