Designer HERON PRESTON launches design collaboration with esports organization GEN.G
![Alt Text](https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/56c346b607eaa09d9189a870/1600969945814-6NJIKPWW6GRXH3715NAA/HERON+x+GEN.G.png) Heron Preston and global esports organization Gen.G is launching an animated short film today to reveal the initial artwork Preston designed to be featured on a jersey collaboration for the Gen.G League of Legends team for the upcoming league of legends world championships. Preston’s design is a nod to his own love for retro video games and an homage to the players as they represent their organization and country against the top teams globally. The jersey is the first of two apparel designs Preston will create for Gen.G in 2020. With the introduction of this limited-edition jersey, Gen.G joins a long list of cultural icons and brands that have worked with the Preston, including: Kanye West and the Yeezy brand, Virgil Abloh and their co-founded Been Trill label, Carhartt, the NYC Department of Sanitation, Hewlett-Packard and NASA. The animated short goes live on Heron and Gen.G’s social media platforms, taking the viewer into a dark snyth world, set against the backdrop of Shanghai, where the 2020 League of Legends World Championship is being held this year. The 2020 World Championship event is set to be the largest to date; after the viewership for Gen.G’s regional qualifier match alone had over 1 million viewers globally. The 2020 championship series begins on September 25 with a winner crowned on October 31. Flaunt caught up with the designer Heron Preston to talk about the collaboration: What is your gaming background?- Have you always had an interest in gaming? I grew up playing video games, so Nintendo was really my first introduction to gaming. From there, I moved on to playing in the arcades and games on the computer. Playstation, Sega Genesis Gameboys, I grew up on all of that. Now I have come full-circle ]back to Nintendo and really have a love for all of the classics. Favorite game?
I’m Loving Mario Odyssey! What led you to working with Gen.G? Why did you want to get involved with gaming? The partnership started when I was in Hong Kong. I was invited to a dinner hosted by Jeff Koons and I met Andrew, who is the cultural advisor for Gen.G. A couple of months later, he invited me to Korea and pitched me this idea of joining Gen.G as the creative advisor and the first-ever Fashion Designer to do so. The project began with a jersey for the Gen.G team uniform. I thought it was really interesting to be the first designer and creative involved in Esports. I have always championed pushing the boundaries and potential of fashion as a tool, so this decision definitely aligns with what I have always believed. This is a platform for access to a culture that is different from fashion, but I learned that there is a lot of crossover between the two worlds. When Andrew pitched this to me, the possibilities of how fashion and gaming can integrate sounded super fun to me! How did you design this specific jersey? What was your inspiration? - Are there any important symbols on the jersey? (star etc.) I started the designing process by reflecting on my childhood and the classics of gaming. I wanted to bring in the beginning of video games, so the pixelation in the design was inspired by the classic 8-bit graphics. On top of that I wanted to add in design cues inspired by Gen.G as well. The three stars that appear around the globe have the slogan “Change the Game,” and another saying in Korean “Fall down 7, get up the 8th time,” both are slogans for Gen. G that encapsulates their attitude: don’t just play the game, change it. Make your mark and leave it better than how you found it. The first two stars symbolize the two world championships and the additional star aiming for a third championship. Gen.G, as a world champion, is one of the largest esport organizations in the world. Over 1 million people globally watched their qualifying match. Gen.G truly is a global brand and has a global presence, as does esports and gaming. That was where the idea of the globe came from.I think the design speaks to what the team went through this season and their competitive philosophy. There is a lot of deep meaning I was only able to incorporate by working directly with the team, so the final design was truly a collaborative effort. Any upcoming designs with Gen.G that you're excited for? I am pretty excited about Gen.G’s initiative for education, the Gen.G Foundation. I love that they value education and are finding ways to support and nurture the lives of gamers. I think it is very important to figure out ways to integrate gaming into education, so we are exploring ways to fuel the program through design and fashion. Using these “cool jerseys” as tools (I’d like to always use fashion as a tool) to ignite this program. What do you think the future of gaming and fashion looks like? - 2020 has definitely been the year where gaming has become "fashionable" what are your thoughts? It is difficult to specifically define it. There is just so much potential and possibility. The first thing I am thinking about is the Travis Scott experience on Fortnite. It was so engaging and groundbreaking. I just think there is so much more that will happen between gaming and fashion and we are only at the beginning. Apparel and style are not new to gaming. There are in-game purchases like clothes and skins to dress the characters with armors and accessories. But I think the integration of Fashion has still not yet connected with the gaming world. I just think there are so many avenues and everyone is exploring the different ways. I am exploring this new media through working with Gen.G, and hope that other brands may decide to launch a game-inspired collection. T Everything is so new and happening so fast that there isn’t time for plan B. This is just a whole new world for Fashion and i’m excited to see where it goes.