DIGITAL FASHION SPECIAL

For gaming fashion brand DRKN, virtual and physical copies are mandatory

For a fashion brand like DRKN, literally born out of gaming culture, the thought of not making virtual copies as in-game skins is unheard of.
By ERIK SEDIN
April 27, 2022

Introducing the forerunners of the new digital fashion industry. In this 16-part special, we list the most exciting designers, brands, and platforms that are helping our digital selves get dressed to progressThis is part 6.

DRKN is a Stockholm-based streetwear brand founded in 2015, which is heavily rooted in gaming and computer culture, and one could argue that DRKN is the first streetwear brand to emerge from and for the gaming community. The brand’s aesthetic follows the colour palette and tactical expression usually seen in gaming, from the in-game characters to the apparel and equipment needed to play games like Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, Rainbow 6 Siege and other first-person shooter games. 

CEO Carl Bofeldt knows that for a contemporary fashion brand, especially one that is so deeply rooted in gaming like DRKN, you simply can’t stop at the physical pieces. 

— In-game pieces are huge, if not mandatory, in the industry today, so no exception for us at DRKN. Enabling our audience to track, save and share information about their DRKN pieces through NFC (near field communication) technology was one of the initial ideas when setting up our visions for DRKN a few years back. NFC technology opens up a lot of possibilities and gives additional value to an asset. In our specific case, you scan a rubber tab on the physical piece to get access to its digital counterpart, or in other words, the physical garment’s digital twin, he says. 

Do you think you will design more ­digital clothing drops not specifically associated with gaming? 

— Most definitely. Within the gaming industry, this isn’t a new thing as I guess it is in other industries, which gives us a great advantage. That said, for us, this is just the beginning of a journey that has been an important part of the DRKN vision and DNA since the very start. In the future, we foresee DRKN to be as visible in the digital world as in the real world.

Physical copy. DRKNS clothes come as physical pieces as well as in-game skins.

How has the pandemic affected gaming generally, and DRKN specifically? 

— Of course, you can’t talk about the pandemic without mentioning that it has been, and still is, a struggle for many many people and businesses, but on the other hand, it has given the gaming industry a lot more attention. The biggest movement in modern times has grown even bigger; widening the characteristics of the audience, and becoming more inclusive and diversified. As a consequence, gaming has become even more widely accepted. On top of that, with the meta movement accelerating, I would say the gaming industry has an even greater position and potential going forward. 

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