Fashion meets Fantasy: Exploring the Elden Ring x ARK Collaboration

ARK, a London and Tokyo-based luxury brand, has recently collaborated with game developer FromSoftware to release a collection inspired by their highly anticipated action role-playing game, Elden Ring. The collection, titled “The Lands Between,” offers a range of clothing items, showcasing the decadent and intricate aesthetics of the game.

From towering castles to elaborate metal armor, leather, and dyed fabric, Elden Ring is known for its visually stunning world. ARK aimed to capture the essence of this world in their collection, but some critics argue that the designs fall short of truly representing the game’s opulence.

Creative Director Dimitri van Eetvelde of ARK defends the collection, stating that the brand wants to appeal not only to hardcore gaming fans but also to a wider audience. He believes that their streetwear approach, coupled with visually striking designs, can attract customers who may not even realize that the pieces are inspired by Elden Ring.

The fusion of fashion and gaming is not a new concept. In recent years, collaborations between fashion brands and video games have resulted in successful collections. Burberry’s Minecraft collection and Diablo-inspired clothing showcased at Milan Fashion Week are just a couple of examples. These collaborations have expanded the perception of “gaming-related clothing,” moving away from the conventional screenprints and plastic materials often associated with licensed merchandise.

It is no surprise, then, that Elden Ring, being one of the most highly anticipated games of the year, now has its own dedicated streetwear line. However, some critics argue that ARK’s collection fails to fully embody the spirit of Elden Ring. With only nine pieces, mostly lounge and outerwear, the collection does not specify the extent of its collaboration with FromSoftware.

One standout piece is a rust brown faux fur coat lined with a print of the Lands Between map on semi-synthetic fabric, evoking the presence of a formidable boss character from the game. However, other pieces, such as a tattered black cotton hoodie with the word “TARNISHED” on it or a white cotton shirtdress with a Redbubble-type print of a Queen Marika statue, seem disconnected from the game’s aesthetic.

Despite these criticisms, the Lands Between map polyamide bomber jacket stands out with its flattering cropped and boxy silhouette. It successfully incorporates the map print, offering a stylish yet subtle reference to Elden Ring.

In conclusion, the collaboration between ARK and FromSoftware for an Elden Ring-inspired fashion collection reflects the growing trend of merging fashion and gaming industries. While ARK’s collection falls short in some aspects, it represents an attempt to appeal to a broader audience and capture the essence of the game’s stunning visuals. Whether it will find success among both gaming enthusiasts and fashion enthusiasts remains to be seen.