Growing up, I played a few video games, like Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. (I played 6 Golden Coins for hours. I even snuck my Game Boy into the bathroom once to play in secret.) I also loved my Nintendo 64 and spent even more hours playing with GoldenEye 007 and Star Wars Episode I: Racer.
My brother and cousins picked up the gaming habit more than I did, and as the video gaming industry developed over the years, I steered away from it mainly because the graphics had advanced so much that my eyes can’t handle it anymore and motion sickness tends to kick in.
That said, I have fond memories when it comes to video gaming. I may not be involved as much with the community, but I still keep up with some of the big gaming conventions, like E3 and PAX.
PAX, in particular, is a series of gaming conventions and each show is dedicated to highlighting and celebrating video and tabletop gaming.
At PAX East 2018, freelance writer and GeekFold founder Lisa Granshaw took her popular Business of Geek Fashion panel and shifted the focus over to the gaming fashion industry. Regardless of whether you’re into movies, television, or games, clothing and accessories are the most common ways to express one’s geeky fandom, and personally, if you plan to buy and wear geeky merchandise, it’s also important to learn how the business works.
The panel featured Jaimie Cordero (CEO, Espionage Cosmetics), Allison Cimino (Founder, RockLove Jewelry), Raul Casillas (Creative Director, J!NX), and Arthur Gibree (Executive & Creative Director, Sanshee), and it offered a closer look at the business, the licensing process, and how far the industry has developed over the years.
Throughout the Q&A, the panelists mentioned some of the products they’ve worked on, and the ones that caught my attention were the Cartridge Compacts by Espionage Cosmetics and the Ita Bags by Sanshee (specifically the Ita-Boy Classic). As someone who was obsessed with her Game Boy growing up, these products are right up my alley, and while I want to see more, there are several walls these creators have to climb over in order make it all happen.
“Some of the times, it’s not that a good idea hasn’t been put out there,” Cimino said and cited Cordero’s compacts as an example, since they took several years to be made. “A lot of these projects were years in the works, and it’s not so much that it’s been so slow to develop more pristine fashion and gaming fashion as it’s taken a long time for the rest of the world to jump onboard. … Sometimes, there’s this massive wall of trademarks and copyright infringements and approvals, but what really has made a big difference is these bigger retailers. They are the ones that kind of dictate what gets bought in … so the more success that gaming fashion has, the more bigger companies are willing to take that risk.”
There’s also a sense of risk and concern involved when products don’t have blatant logos slapped on them. Many in the geek fashion community, however, have been stressing that subtle fashion is the best fashion because you can wear geeky products during a business meeting and still come across as professional to those not aware of the geeky nature behind your clothing or accessories, and at the same time, find another fan who’ll recognize the subtle hints hidden in the print or lining or embroidery, etc. Companies are slowly headed toward that direction, but consumers need to be louder and simultaneously put the money down when products of that nature show up in stores or online.
Whether you’re into video games or not, the same concept also applies to fashion inspired by Star Wars as well as geek fashion in general. There are key points to take away from this panel, so if you haven’t done so already, watch the full panel above or over at GeekFold’s YouTube channel. Also, make sure to sign up for GeekFold’s weekly newsletter to get the latest in geek fashion news as well as original in-depth features. As a subscriber, you’ll also receive exclusive deals. Lastly, follow GeekFold on Twitter and Facebook for more information about upcoming events and other related updates.
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