Animal Crossing X Valentino X Marc Jacobs

person playing animal crossing with pet on the lap

Animal Crossing is a social simulation video game created by Nintendo. The video game has had multiple collaborations with fashion brands that have physical stores. Two of these brands include Valentino and Marc Jacobs. 

What is Animal Crossing?

The objective of Animal Crossing is to build friendships. 

History of Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing was originally created in Japan by Katsuya Eguchi and was intended for a Japanese audience. The first version of Animal Crossing was released in April of 2001. It has had many different versions since then, I will highlight a few in the next few paragraphs.

It soon caught the attention of the American side of Nintendo and that is when the game began to be altered to the American demographic as well. Because the game was originally meant for Japanese players, the features of the game were very Japanese-centric. Everything in the game was translated into English and American holidays such as Halloween and Toy Day (Christmas) were added. Animal Crossing officially launched in the US in September of 2002. 

Two years later, the game also launched in Europe. Nintendo soon had to discover ways to continue to improve the game. Because of the popularity it had gained worldwide, Nintendo decided to redesign everything in the game to be able to market it more internationally and multi-culturally. Nintendo launched this redesign as Animal Crossing: Wild World. 

Next came Animal Crossing: Let’s Go To The City or Animal Crossing: City Folk depending on where in the world the consumer lives. This version of the game added cities to the landscape. It allowed users to leave the little towns the game is originally set in and explore a city!

The next version was Animal Crossing: New leaf. This version gave the users complete control of their towns by making the users the new mayor. It also made the towns within the game a lot nicer and nature filled. 

Finally, the most recent version of the game is Animal Crossing: New Horizon. This version brought the same principles of the game to island life. The game has users build up their villages on islands! 

How Animal Crossing Works

The Basics

Animal Crossing is an all encompassing simulation type game. The game starts with the user creating their own island. The island is deserted, only inhabited by animals. The user must name their island and from there, begin to develop it to build a village. The options within Animal Crossing are endless. Users can build homes, tend gardens, fish, throw parties, and converse with the animals. Aside from tasks that develop their village, users can do anything else they’d like, even catch bugs and dig for treasures. 

The Animal Crossing Avatar

When users play Animal Crossing, they have an avatar that represents them. These avatars are completely customizable and players can either make it look like themselves or something completely different. Every part of the avatars are customizable including: 

  • Skin color
  • Hairstyle
  • Hair color
  • Eyes
  • Eye color
  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Cheeks
  • Clothing 
  • Face paint

To be able to make changes to everything besides the clothes, users must build either a vanity or a mirror in their village. Once users interact with the mirror or vanity the option to customize the avatar will appear. Once that is done all the customizations besides clothing and face painting have free options, but users can also purchase additional hairstyles and colors if they do not prefer the free ones. 

The face painting aspect of Animal Crossing is very unique. Users can paint different patterns on a virtual canvas and utilize them as face paint. To create their patterns users must use Custom Design Pro Editor which costs 800 of the game currency, or visit the Able Sisters shop within Animal Crossing. 

There are many different options for clothing in the game that range in prices. The categories of clothing include:

  • Bags
  • Dresses
  • Face accessories including glasses
  • Hats, wigs, and other head decorations 
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Tops
  • Trousers
  • Skirts 

There is a vast variety of clothing options so everyone will be sure to find something they enjoy. Users can wear up to nine different clothing items at once. To change clothes, avatars can keep their items in inventory or they can build a wardrobe within the game. There are two options within the game to purchase clothes: the Nook Store and Able Sisters. Both stores have a variety of clothing for different prices. 

Multiplayer

In the most recent Animal Crossing: New Horizons eight players can play the game together at the same time. By utilizing Party Play four players can play together and by utilizing wireless play (which requires a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online) eight players can play together. When playing multiplayer, one player is the leader and will choose the activities for the group to do together. 

Users can also visit other user’s islands once they build an airport on their own island. This is a part of the game that increases social interaction and holds to the initial aspect of friendship of the game. Players can create codes to give to their friends in order for their friends to be able to access their islands. 

Additional Apps

The game also has additional apps called Best Friends app and the Chat Log app. These apps allow players to chat online and accept invitations to chat from other players. 

Collaborations

Valentino

The Valentino collaboration with Animal Crossings brought designer clothes to the virtual gaming world. The brand released the avatars that promoted the looks of the Spring, Summer, and Pre Fall 2020 collections. These avatars were able to be used by players in the game. The looks released by Valentino were exclusive to Animal Crossing, but they did pull inspiration from the fashion collections listed above. The twenty items include:

  • Seven dresses
  • Two bucket hats
  • Three shirts
  • Four coats
  • Two baseball caps
  • Two sweaters
  • Two hoodies

These items included options for men and women. Additionally, a lot of the pieces were gender neutral and could appeal to any players. Players must purchase these items in the game for their avatar to be able to wear them. 

alice + olivia Fall 2014 Presentati...
alice + olivia Fall 2014 Presentation Video

Valentino Background

Valentino is a distinctive brand in many ways including their “V” label and the specific red color that is associated with the brand. The Italian brand was founded by Valentino Garavani in 1960. 

Valentino offers both haute couture and ready-to-wear pieces. Haute couture is the creation of exclusive custom-fitted high-end fashion design that is constructed by hand from start to finish. Valentino customers work hands on with employees to create a customized piece for the customer. This has allowed Valentino to differentiate themselves from other luxury brands that do not always offer the customizable pieces. 

Valentino is also known specifically for their dresses. Valentino’s vision as a brand is representative of gracefulness, romanticism, and sensuality. These visions are portrayed in all of their pieces but especially their dresses. 

The Valentino Garavani accessory line includes bags, shoes, small leather goods, eyewear, scarves, ties, and fragrances. The brand focuses on red, romanticism, classy and timeless pieces, old school notions of elegance, chic, and femininity.

Valentino’s target market is typically around 25 to 45 years old both female and male and they will likely be purchasing these products for pleasure and happiness. Which is why it was such a smart decision to enter the virtual world using a game that appeals to an entirely different demographic. 

Marc Jacobs

The Marc Jacobs collaboration with Animal Crossings also brought designer clothes to the virtual gaming world. Marc Jacobs released seven different looks that player’s avatars can use! Marc Jacobs decided on seven of his favorite looks from his brand and recreated them to fit the Animal Crossing vibes. These seven looks included:

  • A Blue and orange striped sweater
  • A Long-sleeved purple gown
  • A Blue dress shirt detailed with white stitched pockets
  • A black coat
  • A purple coat
  • A blue coat
  • A pink embroidered jumper

These items included options for men and women. Additionally, a lot of the pieces were gender neutral and could appeal to any players. Players must purchase these items in the game for their avatar to be able to wear them.

Marc Jacobs Background

The brand Marc Jacobs was founded in 1984 when Marc Jacobs himself released his first collection under his name. Marc Jacobs is a luxury fashion brand, however many of the items are a lot more affordable than other luxury brands. For example, a lot of Marc Jacobs purses are priced in the hundreds instead of the thousands. This gives the brand a different demographic than the higher priced luxury companies, including Valentino. Additionally, partnering with Animal Crossings is a very smart way to reach an entirely new demographic. 

This American Fashion brand was one of the first to introduce 1990s grunge to the catwalk, and Jacobs won many fashion awards for the work with his clothing designs. The first physical Marc Jacobs store was opened in Soho in New York City and soon after international stores began to open. 

The brand sells ready-to-wear apparel and accessories, fragrance, and bags. The apparel sold has options for both men and women and includes dresses, tops, blouses, sweatshirts, t-shirts, bottoms, outerwear, shoes, and even kids clothing. The accessories options include jewelry, bag accessories, sunglasses, hats, hair accessories, wallets, and tech. Marc Jacobs’ wide variety of bags includes the snapshot bag, totes, crossbody bags, shoulder bags, bucket bags, and mini bags. 

Conclusion about the Collaboration

The collaboration that Animal Crossings had with both Marc Jacobs and Valentino was a great way for both of these fashion companies to test the waters around the profitability of the Metaverse. Virtual worlds and the Metaverse are growing extremely rapidly and physical companies are starting to realize the worth in investing in the Metaverse. In the future it could be very possible that companies will need a presence in the virtual world in order to keep their success going. 

Additionally, the COVID pandemic grew the demand for virtual worlds and the metaverse immensely. People everywhere had so much time on their hands and nothing to do with it, so many began to explore different parts of the metaverse. Animal Crossing quickly became very popular between kids. The aspect that users can visit each other’s islands sometimes substituted birthday parties when the lockdown was still in full swing. The ease of communicating and the ability to openly explore within virtual worlds was very attractive to people who could barely leave their houses for several months. The metaverse became a way for people to be connected to others and the outside world during the pandemic.

Collaborations with virtual games and worlds has proved to be profitable for fashion companies that are attempting to venture to the metaverse space. It also brings new exposure to children who will eventually grow up and have an interest in companies that they’ve had previous exposure to within their childhood games. These collaborations are a great investment for the long term and more and more fashion companies are beginning to follow these footsteps. 

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Animal Crossing X Valentino X Marc Jacobs In this post, we're looking at the partnership between the Nintendo video game app Animal Crossing and exclusive fashion brands such as Valentino and Marc Jacobs
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