Apr 22nd, 2020, 03:20 PM

Animal Crossing... But Make it Fashion

By Sophia Scalzo
(Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Image Credit: Animal Crossing Fashion Archive Instagram)
Catching fish and serving looks. How artists on Instagram are using the game as a platform to exhibit their style and creativity.

Since the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch in late March, it has warranted praise as the perfect way to spend quarantine and for its “therapeutic” qualities during a time of social distancing. And for those of us who are slaves to fashion, it also serves as a tool to experiment with different styles. Not typically associated with haute couture, Animal Crossing is a game where the main goal is no goal. In the virtual world your character can catch fish and bugs to sell them to Tom Nook, a crook and your raccoon tycoon landlord. You do this to save up money to pay off your debt and build infrastructure to make island life better for you and your anthropomorphic animal neighbors. Aside from the alluring notion of escaping the four walls of your bedroom and being able to go outside, the game has also now adopted a new kind of player: the designer. Here’s a look into my favorite accounts that are taking advantage of the game's enhanced design tool and using it as a way to recreate unforgettable runway looks, bring awareness to small real life designers, and have editorial photoshoots (and get paid while doing it).

Nook Street Market

Based in New York, the account is run by model Fernanda Ly, designer and DJ Michelle Yue, and photographer and graphic designer Vivian Loh. With just over 8.5k followers on Instagram and a name that is a spoof on Dover Street Market, the high fashion retailer, Nook Street Market recreates their favorite outfits for players in the online game to download and wear themselves. This account shows the designs on their characters in front of an all white background and next to the photo of the actual design it was inspired after. This gives off a catalog feel, and can almost be likened to online shopping. While recreating looks from well-known designers such as Marc Jacobs and Jaquemus, the trio also creates looks from smaller brands like Cha Myung.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mixu in @cha_myung Code: MO-W22B-X90F-9CJJ

A post shared by NOOK STREET MARKET (@nookstreetmarket) on

Animal Crossing Fashion Archive

With over 22k followers on Instagram, Hong Kong based fashion photographer, Kara Chung, is taking a different approach to design while playing Animal Crossing. She started posting the looks she created onto social media and then quickly gained attention from her pre-Coronavirus contacts, such as Highsnobiety, interested in collaborating. The photographer is fabricating studios in the game, and works with other players and their avatars as models. She directs the “models” the same way as she would offline, by creating virtual showrooms, editorial shoots, and lookbooks.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@toranorth + @ader_error @prada @mattiagiordano + @fredperry @nicconcepcion + @transitstore.co

A post shared by ANIMALCROSSINGFASHIONARCHIVE (@animalcrossingfashionarchive) on

Crossing the Runway

Crossing the Runway has served fashion to the Animal Crossing community since 2014. Similar to Nook Street Market, it recreates designs from their favorite designers and makes them available for players to download. The former focuses specifically on the designs by posing them in front of a clean, white background, while Crossing the Runway has their avatar pose in various aesthetic parts of their island for a virtual “shoot.” They are able to recreate campaign ads for top designers such as Dior, Chanel, and Gucci.

Some of my other favorite, smaller designers in Animal Crossing are Animal CrossFits, Animal Crossing x Fashion, and Animal Crossing Hypebeast. So, during a time where you can no longer wear your designer threads out, why not virtually wear them while you dig for fossils and catch butterflies?