Inbetween Balenciaga popping up in Fortnite, Gucci creating its own virtual world in Roblox and numerous collaborations between Louis Vuitton and League of Legends, video games have become the hottest experimental playground for high fashion brands. In fact, you’d struggle to find a notable fashion brand that hasn’t made a major video game play in the last year with the exception of Dior - at least until very recently.
At the end of July, Dior announced a new collaboration with the PlayStation racing sim, Gran Turismo, which will also be the first time Dior’s designs have been made available in-game in a virtual space. From 25 August, Gran Turismo players can dress their avatar in an exclusive yellow and grey Dior racing overall, matching gloves, reinterpreted ‘Diorzion’ shoes and a blue and grey helmet before taking the Dior customised De Tomaso Mangusta for a spin.
It’s hard to say exactly why Dior’s virtual world debut taken so much longer than its competitors such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry. Maybe they never saw video games as the right fit for the brand (despite Louis Vuitton’s numerous collaborations with Final Fantasy), or maybe the appointment of Kim Jones as creative director has helped steer the company in a more youth-facing direction.
Either way, this collaboration between Gran Turismo and Dior is an excellent fit: luxury cars meets luxury fashion. The racing sim is also one of the most popular franchises in PlayStation history, and while figures for this latest release haven’t been made available yet, total sales for the franchise across the previous 12 titles top 85 million.
And then there’s the fact that this collaboration was inspired by the glamorous adverts for Dior perfume from the ‘60s to the ‘80s that regularly featured luxury cars. If you check out the comments on the Gran Turismo X Dior announcement video from the Gran Turismo channel, you can see for yourself that a lot of GT players are really into this collaboration, and it’s clear that a lot of time and energy has been invested into it to ensure it’s authentic.
This collaboration has put the Dior name front and centre for a lot of those players, and it’s also been covered extensively across gaming, sports, lifestyle, fashion and entertainment media. What remains to be seen is how much money this collaboration will make.
Gran Turismo’s economy works by players earning credits from their races, which can then be used to purchase new cars, equipment, and various cosmetic items. Earning the amount of credits you need to purchase luxury cars can take a lot of time, but if time is a luxury, you can also buy credits using real money (the game recently came under fire for a patch that reduced the amount of credits you earn from races to incentivize in-game purchases).
The official announcement doesn’t state whether the new items in this Dior collaboration will be paid-for, or made available for free. If they’re paid for, it’ll be interesting to see how much they cost; some of Gran Turismo’s most expensive cars sell for upwards of 3m credits; the equivalent value in money if you were going to purchase those credits would be $30 USD.
If you’re interested in learning more about some of the major fashion plays in video games, we’d recommend this excellent write-up from the Washington Post.