ARK/8 is building one of the most exciting and innovative pathways in fashion today. Founded in 2019 by Creative Director Dimitri van Eetvelde, ARK/8 seeks to blur the lines between reality and gaming through unique clothing collections based on immersive video games and cult pop culture.
The latest collection for AW23 is based on ‘Elden Ring’, the trailblazing action role-playing video game by FromSoftware. Set in a fantastical realm called ‘The Lands Between’, where the collection takes its name, van Eetvelde was inspired by the game’s incredible scope and art direction to bring elements of the virtual land to the real world. A mysterious, expansive plain divided into five separate areas, ‘The Lands Between’ – which was in part designed by George R. R. Martin – delivered a visually striking landscape and a fantastic cast of mythical characters for Dimitri and the ARK/8 team to play with.
“I see my work as a labour of love and a real-life extension of the infinite worlds that have always inspired me and millions of other fans,” says Dimitri. “This collection combines the incredibly beautiful world of ‘Elden Ring’ with our new design language, and has been created with the goal of being bold, functional and sophisticated. Ultimately, our mission isn’t to produce elevated merchandise, but true fashion collections inspired by the world of gaming.”
Each piece has been meticulously designed by the ARK/8 team, utilising luxury fashion sensibilities through high-quality materials such as heavyweight organic cotton, ECOVERO viscose, and Italian recycled polyamide. ARK/8’s expert craftsmanship is found in detailed embroidery on pieces like the ‘Tarnished’ sweatshirt, ‘Elden Ring’ motifs, and chrome ARK/8 engraved LAMPO zips, echoing the brand’s commitment to quality and detail while adhering to a strong value system that ensures responsible design, production, social welfare and diversity – things the founder holds at the centre of the brand.
Set in a dark, muted colour palette of greys, blacks and taupes, the collection enables wearers to transport subtly from the fantastical world of ‘Elden Ring’ into reality while bringing gaming into the mainstream. The collection consists of nine genderless pieces including a bomber jacket printed with a map of ‘The Lands Between’, a faux fur Rune coat, a ‘Tarnished’ sweatshirt named after the unnamed playable character, and a range of shirts, tees, sweatshirts, and hoodies.