Singaporean Gen.T honoree Clement Chia achieved great success through his project, “Imaginary Ones,” comprising 8,888 NFTs portraying lively cartoon characters with their bodies composed of tactile spheres. This unique collection sold out within a mere four minutes in April 2022, briefly propelling Chia to the forefront of the industry. Presently, Chia and his associates, who are the masterminds behind the innovative agency Offset and dynamic motion design platform Offeo, have unveiled an exclusive partnership with the fashion label Hugo, a division of the renowned Hugo Boss brand. This collaboration introduces an entire series of freshly minted, limited edition NFTs, coupled with a line of physical t-shirts. Scheduled for release on October 4 at 4 pm GMT+8, this marks the initial phase of an extensive venture, encompassing the creation of an Imaginary Ones metaverse.
How do you see the intersection between gaming and fashion evolving in recent years, and what trends have you observed?
I really enjoy the blend of gaming and fashion coming together in endless creative possibilities. On one hand, I do see international fashion giants bringing their designs into video games, allowing players to dress their virtual characters in trendy outfits. I think this really empowers these brands to connect with gamers in a cool, interactive, and somewhat unexpected approach. It’s not just about looking good in the game – it’s also a fun, interactive way for brands to share their style and story in the virtual world.
On the other hand, the journey from pixel to fabric is just as interesting. Styles that were once confined to the virtual gaming world are making their way into our wardrobes. Designs influenced by, or directly taken from games, are becoming real clothes and accessories that fans can wear and own. It introduces fun, imaginative designs into real-world fashion and gives fans a piece of their gaming adventures that they can wear. It’s a really exciting trend, and I can’t wait to see more of how the lines between digital and physical fashion are constantly being blurred and reshaped.
Can you share examples of popular video games that have influenced or inspired fashion trends or collaborations in the gaming industry?
Two examples came to my mind. Take, for instance, the collaboration between Fortnite and Balenciaga. This team-up meant Fortnite players could dress their game characters in special Balenciaga outfits, making their virtual selves super stylish. Plus, in real life, Balenciaga sold clothes that were inspired by Fortnite, so fans could wear them too. It was like the game and real-world fashion mixed together in a fun way.And then you’ve got Minecraft, a widely-loved game known for its blocky, pixelated style where players build and explore their own worlds. This unique, cube-like design became a big hit and sparked a fashion trend known as “Pixel-Art.” I think that Loewe, a high-fashion brand known for its innovative and avant-garde designs, has recognized the appeal of this “Pixel-Art” style. They’ve started making their own pixelated fashion line, bridging the gap between high fashion and pixelated, a digital gaming style made popular by Minecraft. I believe that this is a strong testament to the enduring power of video games to influence and inspire a wide range of artistic expressions across various industries.
What do you believe are the motivations behind your collaboration with HUGO and what can you tell us more about it?
Teaming up with HUGO is, honestly, both electrifying and a bit surreal for all of us at Imaginary Ones. We’re navigating uncharted waters here, being the first Asian-born NFT project to join forces with a powerhouse in the global fashion scene. Our goal goes beyond just making Imaginary Ones known in the digital world (Web 3.0). We’re really passionate about celebrating everyone’s uniqueness with positivity and happiness. With HUGO, both brands have a shared belief in positivity, creativity, and embracing authentic identities. Our collaboration is rooted in the idea that fashion and digital art, when interwoven, create not just a visual spectacle but also a narrative, a story that reflects who we are and what we stand for. Our harmony lies in that shared narrative – to tell stories that matter, that impact, and that drive forward a message of self-love and genuine expression in a world that is increasingly digital and boundlessly imaginative.
Tell us more about Imaginary Ones and how will HUGO be part of your gaming ecosystem?
Our gaming ecosystem came about from our success with Bubble Rider, a Web 3.0 native game that garnered 6 million gameplays within 3 weeks. With this success, we have embarked on a journey to further expand our gaming universe with the highly anticipated launch of Bubble Rangers in Q4 2023. Bubble Rangers is our hyper-causal endless runner mobile game, a strategically designed gateway that allows us to onboard the Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 masses into our ecosystem. As part of our initial integration of HUGO into our gaming universe, we are excited to have exclusive HUGO skins for Bubble Rangers’ players, set to be available during limited seasonal events. This exciting development marks the beginning of a new era in our gaming ecosystem, where unique experiences and opportunities await our dedicated community of players.
What are your future plans for the rest of 2023? What about 2024?
In 2023, our primary focus centers around the highly anticipated launch of Bubble Rangers. This mobile game which we have developed, is an engaging hyper-casual endless runner. With this game, it will introduce a broad audience to our gaming ecosystem, bridging the divide between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 gamers. We are working hard to ensure a seamless and thrilling gaming experience for players worldwide, with regular updates, new content, and exciting events to keep the community engaged and entertained. Moving into 2024, Imaginary Ones has ambitious plans to expand our intellectual property (IP) beyond the confines of gaming and onto the big screens and streaming platforms. We recognize the potential for our captivating narratives and characters to reach a broader audience through film and television adaptations. Stay tuned for announcements and updates as we embark on this exciting journey into the world of entertainment beyond gaming!
What can you exclusively tell BURO about your global collaboration with HUGO?
We’re keeping some surprises up our sleeves in 2024, so keep a lookout for it!