Hollister names Fortnite world champion as first chief gaming scout
Abercrombie & Fitch-owned fashion retailer Hollister Co. has named 18-year-old professional streamer and esports champion Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf as its first chief gaming scout, a role in which he will help select talent for the brand’s new gamer training program.
The collaboration with Bugha, who is the World Cup Champion of wildly popular battle royale game Fortnite, is the first brand partnership of its kind with a professional gamer.
In his new role, Bugha will select emerging streamers for Team Hollister, the retailer’s upcoming gamer training program, expected to launch this November in collaboration with gaming-focused livestreaming platform Twitch. As well as offering a $10,000 sponsorship to each selected streamer along with monthly mentorship from Bugha, the program will also involve a series of livestreamed training sessions, including a charity livestream on Giving Tuesday.
In celebration of their new partnership, Hollister and Bugha have launched a co-created, limited-edition gaming hoodie and sweatpant set. Fans were able to vote on design propositions for the set directly through Bugha’s Instagram account, resulting in a hoodie with a roomy hood to accommodate a gaming headset and a large zip pocket for snacks.
The design also features hidden details, such as an image of Bugha’s pug, Zoey, and a secret message in morse code.
“I'm pumped to act as Hollister’s Chief Gaming Scout and for the release of our gaming apparel collection,” said Bugha in a release. “Working with the team to design custom apparel that I’m truly excited to wear, and that I know other gamers will love, has been a really cool experience. I can’t wait for everyone to see what else we have in store with this partnership!”
The partnership between Hollister and Bugha comes as the fashion and gaming industries continue to explore increasingly diverse crossover projects, with some of the most recent link-ups including the broad-ranging partnership announced between ASOS and esports team Fnatic in September, and Balenciaga’s phygital haute couture collaboration with Fortnite.
“We’re always focused on meeting our Gen Z customers where they are, and gaming continues to be a rising area of interest for global teens,” said Kristin Scott, global brand president at Hollister parent company Abercrombie & Fitch. “We’ve recently been successfully and authentically showing up in the gaming world, particularly with our Fortnite tournament earlier this year – so we’re excited to delve even further into this area through our partnership with Bugha and the launch of Team Hollister.”
The limited-edition Hollister x Bugha gaming set is available to purchase now on the Hollister e-commerce website, as well as in select physical Hollister stores.
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