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What Louis Vuitton has to do with League of Legends?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The evolution of technology and changes in preferred leisure activities have shaped the marketing strategies of many industries and these changes still keep them on their toes. In this article, I will try to explain the relationship between luxury high-fashion brands and video games. 

For many, one of the most crucial aspects of game design is graphic quality, which has improved immensely over the last few years. Nowadays, games have to be more than just a source of entertainment because the market is over-saturated, and the bar is high. Game developers go to great lengths to attract the consumers’ attention, and many do so by mending the border between entertainment and art to provide the best experience possible.

A great example of this is Red Dead Redemption II, which stole the hearts of even the most judgemental critics, and as a result, was named “the best-looking video game of all time.” Many have claimed that playing the game is almost like watching a movie, and the main character feels like a sentient being. Such qualities make players connect to the game on an almost personal level. It is just one example out of the many, but it determines how far technological development has progressed. 

Video games are now the most popular they’ve ever been, and the number of consumers steadily grows each year, with the current number of around 2.8 billion. For this reason, many industries see it as an attractive, lucrative market – one of them being the fashion industry.

While the interest of the high-fashion sector in video games sparked relatively recently, the games’ obsession with looks is nothing new! What’s more – it plays a crucial part in many games – sets the atmosphere, tells players who the characters are, their traits, and much more…

Furthermore, video games do not have to be subject to the laws of physics or practicality, which allows games designers to use any means necessary to create a unique experience. In my opinion, it is a double-edged sword – on the one hand, it allows to create and explore impossible designs like Heel Guns worn by the main character of “Bayonetta.” On the other hand, it adds to the sexual objectification of female characters by dressing them in skimpy armors, which are impractical and only aim to appeal to a particular type of fantasy, like in an RPG “TERA.” That is not, however, what I want to discuss in this article, so let me retract…

With endless ways of connecting via the Internet, many treat playing games as a social activity, which creates a need for self-expression, just like in the physical world. My research concluded that the character customization options can be rather important to the players and most of them stated that the unattractive design actually bothers them, as it can ruin the whole atmosphere. Obviously, it does not apply to every game because, according to what I have learned, some games are not serious enough or have been created a while ago and outdated outfits induce a warm feeling of nostalgia.

The high-fashion sector realized that the popularity of the games among younger generations, the lucrativeness of the industry, the need for self-expression, and technological possibilities are good reasons for expansion in this space. 

Since then, many luxury brands have partnered with game developers in creating new outfits for characters like Marc Jacobs and Valentino did for Animal Crossing or Moschino for The Sims. In this industry, it is, however, considered a minimum effort. Other fashion houses go as far as creating their own games. Balenciaga did just that with a walking simulator and used it, to present its Fall 2021 collection. 

In my opinion, the best at adapting to this market is Louis Vuitton. In 2019, the luxury fashion house partnered with the video game developer, Riot Games for the 2019 League of Legends World Championship, becoming the first-ever fashion house to do so. This collaboration was a great strategic move, as the geographic and demographic focus of Louis Vuitton and League of Legends is very similar. In both cases, the brands target millennials with above-average income, and their biggest markets are in Asia. What is also note-worthy, in 2016, LV made the first-ever campain using characters from a game, Final Fantasy!

I think fashion goes great with games and vice versa, because they are more similar than most people care to aknowledge. Needless to say, I am excited to see what great things this pair can offer to the world of culture.


The best thing Apple has done for the environment?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Whoever has not seen someone with a shattered iPhone screen should cast the first stone. I, myself, own an iPhone with a broken screen. Why is it such a frequent sight, though? One might say it is because Apple products are widely popular, thus a higher chance of seeing someone with an iPhone in general, but it does not answer the question entirely. 

Apple is known among its users and tech enthusiasts for its strict policy regarding the repairs of its products. They are officially only available in certified service locations which use genuine parts and tools and in which workers have completed proper training to provide the best aid. It seems reasonable, am I right? In theory – yes, in practice – not really. 

The costs of those repairs often surpass the value of the device on the second-hand market, so it makes more sense to invest in a new model rather than repair the old one. The other option is relying on the services of third-party technicians, who use parts purchased from non-certified suppliers, and which, I feel obligated to mention, results in immediate loss of warranty. 

A lot of criticism has poured down on Apple throughout the years, not only because users felt tricked into buying new models but because of environmental issues. One poll conducted in the UK by YouGov showed that 30% of Brits throw away devices, which repairs are unprofitable or impossible for some reason. 

Electronic waste, however, is a much more serious problem than many could suspect, and for this very cause, the EU is determined to fight against it. So far, repairability laws specify that only certain electronic goods need to be repairable for at least ten years – it includes washing machines, refrigerators, etc. however, the next step aims to include devices like smartphones and laptops. 

In the US in July of 2021, the Biden administration released an executive order to address “unfair anticompetitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items” which is considered the catalyst of the most recent Apple decision. 

“unfair anticompetitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items”

Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy

In Mid-November of 2021, the company has announced its new Self Service Repair program in response to the fast-moving changes on the right-to-repair front. It will allow users to perform at-home repairs using original parts and tools sold via the Apple Self Service Repair Online Store, which will launch at the beginning of the following year. At first, it will only be available in the US and exclusively for iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, but Apple has a bold plan to expand the program to other markets and to cover other device models, all this in 2022. 

How will this process look? 

All at-home repairs will start with the consumer defining the issue using the repair manual and determining whether they will be able to fix the problem by themselves. If they feel strongly about their chances, the next step will be ordering necessary parts from the Apple Self Service Repair Online Store and performing the repair once they arrive.

On the one hand, many are positively surprised by the conglomerate’s decision because it is a potentially crucial turning point for the technology lifecycle as we know it. Besides becoming more consumer-friendly, it will extend the lifespan and durability of our devices, which might reshape technology trends. On the other hand, no matter how easy it may seem, tinkering with any electronic device requires some level of knowledge, which leads me to believe that many users will continue to rely on the expertise and skills of the professionals for this very reason.