British Vogue - 11.2019

(Nancy Kaufman) #1



igel Mills is not particularly
famous. A former chartered
accountant with the haircut
to match, he is the Tory MP
for Amber Valley in Derbyshire. He hit
the headlines, however, in 2014, when
he was captured on camera, over a period
of two-and-a-half hours, matching up
sweet-shaped icons on his tablet. The
rub? Mills was playing Candy Crush Saga
in a government committee meeting
about the future of pensions.
Step on any train, plane or automobile,
and the chances are that you’ll spot a passenger playing a
game on their phone. Gaming has gone from arcades to
basements to handheld devices quicker than you can say
“Fortnite”. By 2021, the global games market is projected to
exceed £146 billion, according to the research firm Newzoo.
But the biggest surprise? In 2019, 63 per cent of mobile-
game consumers are women.
As the industry adapts to this extraordinary demographic
shift – after all, women mobile gamers are 79 per cent more
likely to make an in-app purchase, buying virtual currency,
lives or diamonds, for instance – brands are hoping to cash
in. Moreover, with Gen Z seeing little distinction between
their on- and offline lives, businesses are rushing to apply
gamification to their commercial strategies. Goldman Sachs
estimates that virtual and augmented reality technology will
be worth more than £65 billion by 2025.
The fashion industry – wise to the opportunity to connect
with younger, as well as female customers – wants a slice of
the gaming pie. Two new apps launching this autumn are

aimed squarely at women who love trying and buying
clothes. Drest is a new app from Lucy Yeomans, the former
magazine editor and alumnus, that allows
the user to dress up an avatar using in-game currency and
complete a series of style challenges. (Contracts were being
drawn up with supermodels and influencers as Vogue
went to press.) Once you’ve styled up Natalia Vodianova,
say, in new-season Valentino, then zhuzhed up her hair,
given her a smoky eye and posed her against a picture-perfect
Tulum beach backdrop, you release your “look” into the
community to be rated by other users. You can then purchase
the Valentino clothes IRL via, with which
Yeomans has struck an affiliate deal.
Similarly, there’s Ada, an app named after Ada Lovelace
and co-founded by fashion insiders Alexia Niedzielski and
Elizabeth von Guttman. It allows you to pick from a series
of 3D luxury interiors – an apartment boasting a spiral staircase
and filled with Armani/Casa furniture, for example; or a
branded hangout, be it wallpapered with Dior’s signature >






Supermodel avatars,
VR wardrobes,
digital boutiques...
mobile games are
getting a high-
fashion makeover,
says Ellie Pithers


11-19-FOB-FashionGaming.indd 81 16/09/2019 14:25

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