How Fashion Interacts with Pop Culture

Story by Leila Alekperov

When people talk about fashion, video games and movies are rarely the first that come to mind. And yet, media and fashion are tied together in more ways than one would think.

A classic example would be The Matrix movie series, starring Canadian actor Keanu Reeves. The movie first came out in 1999, and the unique wardrobe that came with it has influenced people all over. The futuristic designs and silhouettes made it an iconic look that almost anyone will recognize. It was to the point that for their 1999 Fall show, Dior’s creative director John Galliano dressed models in leather-heavy ensembles inspired by The Matrix. Dior was not the only one inspired by the movies, seeing as in 2017, Balenciaga, Vetements, Balmain, and Alexander McQueen hit the runway with long coats and tight leather looks.

Always on trend, Carlos Benguigui showcased this same look on NYFW hiTechMODA in September 2021.

The Matrix is just one example from the movie industry, as more influence comes from the virtual world and video games. For instance, in 2016, the luxurious French fashion house Louis Vuitton made a video game character one of their leading models; this would be the first time a video game character led a campaign for a major fashion house. The character in question is Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII, a game made by Square Enix, one of Japan’s multinational holding companies with several franchises under their name.

Carlos Benguigui again brought on-trend looks to hiTechMODA’s Runway with his collection inspired by the cultural movement Steam Punk and looks reminiscent of Vampire Diaries to the hiTechMODA runway in 2022.

While Lightning as a model was the first time a big fashion house used a video game character, it was not the first time a fictional character was used in a campaign. In 2011, Gucci collaborated with Hirohiko Araki, an artist known for the popular series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures and popular fashion magazine Spur. This collaboration was in celebration of the reopening of Gucci Shinjuku, the 90th anniversary of Gucci, and the 30th anniversary of Hirohiko Araki. The collaboration between Gucci and Araki continued when in 2013, the creative director Frida Giannini used the characters from the popular series as models in display windows worldwide.

Using fictional characters for models wasn’t the only thing these fashion houses did, as fashion companies have been starting to work with media to reach new audiences for a while. For example, in 2019, Louis Vuitton partnered up with Riot’s League of Legends to create different looks for some characters – otherwise known as skins. The characters chosen for this collaboration were part of a group called ‘True Damage,’ showcasing a street-pop style. The real-life members of the group performed live with their song ‘Giants’ during the opening ceremony of the LoL Worlds final that year – with the characters wearing the Louis Vuitton clothing broadcasted behind them, along with the Louis Vuitton logo.

Designers Alicia Perrillo, Curious Clothier, Errick Kim, ZUZ, Gulic & Ybarra, House of STL, and Regina’s Couture all showcased looks that brought to mind fictional characters from Alice In Wonderland to Gone with the Wind, from the Joker to Bram Stocker, and many in between.

The fashion world continues to interact more with media, especially video games, from using characters as models to collaborating with companies to create different collections, whether virtual or in person.

Brands like dkDesignFashion, Ricardo Oryarzyn, Justin Haynes, Young Gods, and Art Elio Couture have each showcased forward-facing looks, taking both the on-site audience and media audiences into the past and the future with their present-day designs.

About hiTechMODA

hiTechMODA is an award-winning fashion show producing its 10th NYFW this coming September 2023, with a high-profile stage to maximize exposure for its sponsors, designers, stylists, and models. They aim to inspire, empower, discover, and encourage fashion talent worldwide by providing a professional, affordable runway with high-quality production at a state-of-the-art venue. NYFW hiTechMODA Season 10, September 2023, will be their 18th production, and Paris hiTechMODA Season 2 (September 2023) will be their 19th production and third international event.

hiTechMODA Producer PS

Privette is an award-winning producer with over 18 years of experience in industry production and ten years in fashion production. Her diverse professional career experiences have allowed her to adapt and excel in many industries. With a keen understanding of the latest trends and the ability to keep the company agile, she can stay ahead of the status quo and lead the company to the forefront of the industry. An American disabled veteran, PS Privette served 20 years in the United States Coast Guard. She gained extension experience in the industry by successfully guiding her daughter to become a successful professional New York City model.

July 21, 2023
Orlando Swim Week, Season 3
Hilton Buena Vista Palace, Orlando

July 22 & 23, 2023
hiTechMODA Orlando, Season 3
Hilton Buena Vista Palace, Orlando

September 8-10, 2023
NYFW hiTechMODA Season 10
Gotham Hall, Midtown Manhattan, NYC
NYFW hiTechMODA Highlight Clip video

September 29 & 30, 2023
Paris Fashion Week Season 2
SARL Salon Des Miroirs
Le Salon des Miroirs video

Stock images from Adobe Stock. Runway images from various hiTechMODA NYFW hiTechMODA runways from Season 1 thru Season 9. Getty Images in-house photographer for hiTechMODA.


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