The ongoing confluence of fashion and games continues with a collaboration between Takashi Murakami and Faze Clan. The celebrated pop artist has designed a new line of merchandise for Faze, including an esports jersey and mouse pads, featuring his iconic smiling flowers.
While it may largely look like two brands collaborating on limited-edition merchandise, Murakami sees it as something a little more… ambitious. In fact, in a statement, the artist compared working with Faze to the relationship between Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat:
When I was a university student, Warhol made paintings in collaboration with Basquiat and it was much talked about. For Warhol, who was past 50, to collaborate with Basquiat, the young superstar, seemed to me as though the former was sucking up to the youth, and I looked on feeling a bit sorry for him. Then, they both passed away. A little over a decade later, the once-incongruous collaborative paintings, which had seemed to feature the generational divide as the sales point, started to look very fresh, like an embodiment of the situation of their time.
I must now be older than Warhol then, and I suspect the members of Faze Clan are younger than Basquiat was. Some people may think our pairing rather incongruous, but in 30 years’ time, the meaning of this collaboration within art historical context will perhaps be reviewed and reassessed. And so, while I felt a bit shy about doing a collaboration with such young people, I went along with their request, trusting in the freshness of the landscape the future audience will see in this project.
The collaboration marks Murakami’s first proper foray into gaming, but it’s part of an ongoing trend. Designers like Jeff Staple and Heron Preston have created esports jerseys, while the likes of Nike, Burberry, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Complex, and Gucci have all experimented with gaming in different ways.
The new Faze gear will be available via NTWRK starting June 28th at 12PM PT.