Animal Crossing New Horizons has, largely by virtue of being exactly the right form of escapism at exactly the right time, become something of a cultural phenomenon as players use it to live out some semblance of a surrogate existence during lockdown. It's been used to build capitalist empires, to host weddings, birthdays, romantic dinners, even protests. And as it's gone mainstream, everyone wants in on the action: be they celebrities, museums finding an educational angle, The Financial Times, and, now, the fashion world.
Fashion brands Marc Jacobs and Valentino have both spotted a promotional opportunity, seemingly independently, and seized the Animal Crossing phenomenon with gusto. Each company has (thanks VG247) joined forces with the Animal Crossing Fashion Archive - an Instagram page created by fashion enthusiasts to showcase their own stylish outfits in-game - in order to bring their wares to the masses, albeit in tiny digital form.
Speaking to Vice last month, photographer and Animal Crossing Fashion Archive page founder Kara Chung revealed they'd recently been working with "open-minded artists to translate their real work in-game and create virtual lookbooks, showrooms and galleries", and it now transpires some of those artists were very high profile indeed.
Photographer #KaraChung of #AnimalCrossingFashionArchive, tapped her community to collaborate on a set of 20 animated men?s and women?s Valentino outfits available for use exclusively on #AnimalCrossing #?????????? #?????? . Check our Instagram Stories! pic.twitter.com/guxp9w0qSL— Valentino (@MaisonValentino) May 1, 2020
The Animal Crossing Fashion Archive collaboration with Valentino has resulted in the recreation of 20 spring-summer and pre-fall looks from the fashion house's real-life outfit line, while Marc Jacobs has released six of its pieces to wear in-game.
If you're looking for a glamorous makeover, each collection can be accessed using the associated design codes at the Able Sisters' tailor shop terminal.
You'll find a full list of Marc Jacobs' efforts on its Twitter page, and an even more sprawling selection on Valentino's page, at which point you'll be the talk of the town while I skulk around looking part 70s porn star, part flamboyant thrift store enthusiastic, part sheep.