Photograph courtesy of Hudson’s Bay

The game has taken off in the fashion industry in recent moths.

Much like Tiger King, baking banana bread and sharing your workout online, Nintendo’s Animal Crossing has become synonymous with our new socially distanced lives. The game has existed for more than 20 years, though the fifth installment, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, was released on March 20 of this year right as lockdown measures went into place across most of the globe. To date, it has more than 11 million users.

The fashion industry was quick to jump on board: Valentino recreated a series of archival looks for the characters and Marc Jacobs designed a six-piece collection specifically for the game. Plus, creators are helping to bring some of the buzziest brands – think Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Gucci – to players of the game via dedicated Instagram pages like Nook Street Market and Crossing The Runway. Once users see an outfit they like, they simply put the design ID into the game and the clothes appear in their virtual closets.

Now, iconic Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay is getting in on the action. In celebration of its 350th anniversary this year, the brand has created digital versions of two pieces from its anniversary collaboration collection with Armor Lux for users to access in the game. Featuring the iconic HBC stripe, the Breton long-sleeve top and Breton merino wool sweater can be accessed via design codes shared on The Bay’s social media platforms.

Speaking about the decision to collaborate with the game, Meghan Nameth, the senior vice president at the company, told FASHION, “Through Animal Crossing, Hudson’s Bay is connecting with and enabling players, [who are] primarily Gen Z and Millennials, to interact with our brand in a very relevant way. Our goal is to meet consumers in spaces where they are spending their time – whether that be digital channels or physical locations – and deliver authentic and meaningful experiences that enhance their lives. This is an innovative way to integrate our brand and give players a truly Canadian fashion experience within the game.”

As for how they decided on the HBC x Armor Lux items, Nameth said the collection “was chosen for its unisex appeal and its seasonless styling.” There may also be new pieces added to the game in the future but for now the brand says it wants “to give players time to show us how they’re striping their homes and avatars.”

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