For decades, video game apparel was synonymous with graphic tee shirts from Hot Topic or elaborate cosplay, with not much else in between. The most that video games and fashion mixed was in those online dress-up games that were all the rage in the mid-2000s.
Over the past few years, we’ve started to see options that go beyond just slapping a logo on a tee shirt and calling it a day. Sites like Her Universe and ThinkGeek have shown that there’s a market for fashionable fandom attire. Mainstream fast fashion brands like Vans and Uniqlo have put out collections that are just as much about looking good as they are about showing your love for a franchise. Even high fashion designers like Prada, Louis Vuitton and Moschino have collaborated with gaming companies.
The latest brand to get in on the video game fashion trend is Bloomingdale’s, which released an exclusive collaboration with Nintendo on March 10 (MAR10 day). The collection, alternately branded as “Let’s Play” and “100% Nintendo,” includes a wide range of clothes, shoes, and accessories, as well as novelty items like iPhone cases, pool floats, and Sugarfina candy.
Bloomingdale’s tapped big-name designers for the collection, some of whom went harder on the Nintendo imagery than others. While you’ll find plenty of 8-bit Marios and Peaches, there’s also a fair amount of pieces that are pretty loose with their “inspiration.” At first glance, I couldn’t even tell that the presumably Mario Kart-inspired Marc Jacobs purse was part of the collection. Personally, I enjoy the more overt (but still stylish) designs like the Yoshi egg baseball hat, but those with a stricter work dress code might appreciate the subtle approach.
Yes, Bloomingdale’s is a high-end department store and the prices on the collection reflect that. Not every gamer is going to be able to afford a $185 sweatshirt. Many will find that price point ridiculous — we know, we read your comments. But as Hyper Light Drifter designer Teddy Deif pointed out in 2016 when Louis Vuitton used Final Fantasy 13 character Lighting in their ads, the fact that brands are recognizing that there’s a large (profitable!) crossover between people who care about fashion and people who care about video games is exciting. (Also, that sweatshirt is really cool, even though they incorrectly label a Piranha Plant as a Venus Fly Trap.)
Check out some of our favorite picks below, or head over to Bloomingdale’s website to see the whole collection for yourself. It’s not perfect — one listing spells Mario’s nemesis as “Bowzer” — but it’s neat that they’re trying. Plus, once you’re wearing that Bowser shirt no one has to know that Paul Smith got the spelling wrong.
- Kenneth Cole heart appliqué sneakers, $140 Bloomingdale’s
- Funboy inflatable tube, $49 Bloomingdale’s
- Original Penguin Mario swim trunks, $79 Bloomingdale’s
- Skinnydip London iPhone case, $28 Bloomingdale’s
- S’well Princess Peach bottle, $42 Bloomingdale’s
- Herschel Supply Co. backpack, $60 Bloomingdale’s
- Sunset + Spring denim skirt, $68 Bloomingdale’s
- Barney Cools Luigi tee, $44 Bloomingdale’s
- Bricktown Power Star baseball cap, $80 Bloomingdale’s
- Bricktown Piranha Plant sweatshirt, $185 Bloomingdale’s
This story is part of Polygon Deals, and is curated by Vox Media’s commerce team, in partnership with Polygon’s editorial team. You can submit deals to firstname.lastname@example.org, follow us on Twitter @PolygonDeals and find more Deals here. All prices are reflective of time of publication and are updated periodically to account for changes.