HEAT x FaZe Clan to launch as fashion meets eSports gaming
Maybe not for fashion purists, but mystery designer fashion box provider HEAT has teamed up with eSports big-wigs FaZe Clan on a drop of exclusive merchandise - alongside its most popular labels which include Off-White, Casablanca and A-COLD-WALL* - launching this Friday 25 September, 2020.
The FaZe Clan collaboration box guarantees a range of products including exclusive “sold-out” FaZe Clan pieces from collaborations, that could be from ComplexCon, Champion, NFL, Lyrical Lemonade, Kappa, CLOT and LA Kings.
With an Instagram following of over 10 million between them, the collaboration has already gained a huge amount of interest across the globe ahead of the launch, and is a great example of the power of influencers within the eSports industry.
Co-owned by hip-hop star Offset and producer and Beats founder, Jimmy Iovine, FaZe Clan has been valued by Forbes to be worth an estimated $240 million and has a dedicated following. The new HEAT box will allow fans and followers access to archive products and fresh colourways, alongside some of the world’s most sought-after streetwear brands.
Not only that, a new designer box collaboration with Columbian-born French designer Haider Ackermann is set to go live on 11 November, swiftly followed by a HEAT box in partnership with American actor, model and influencer Luka Sabbat. It’s all about collaborations going forward, as HEAT managing director Joe Wilkinson explains.
What do you know about FaZe Clan?
FaZe Clan is at the forefront of the eSports industry. What was primarily founded as a YouTube gaming clan - sharing videos participating in the widespread phenomenon of competitive gaming - has quickly branched out to other forms of entertainment revolving around lifestyle and fashion content. Currently, their collective YouTube channel has garnered 8.3m followers, with popular members accumulating anywhere between 3 to 5 million followers on the video streaming platform alone. The group’s popularity has blazed a trail for them, catapulting their reach beyond the eSports community and leading to multi-revenue streams for the collective. They have drawn the attention of some of the best entertainers and athletes in the industry, notably NBA player Ben Simmons and one-third of rap-trio Migos, known by the name of Offset.
How has the collaboration come about?
The HEAT team and FaZe Clan came together on this upcoming collaboration after the realisation that the streetwear and eSports landscape share a demographic of individuals who share the same passion for creative self-expression and fashion. This capsule will celebrate the growing evolution between high fashion streetwear and interactive gaming, something not realised previously, defining the new visual language for this generation. We have worked closely with FaZe Clan to design limited edition HEAT boxes for men, in a never seen before colourway, something which we hope our customers will keep as a piece of memorabilia. These boxes will include sold out and unreleased FaZe merchandise, alongside one or two pieces of FaZe Clan’s favourite streetwear brands. HEAT x FaZe Clan boxes will be priced at $299, with a guaranteed RRP value of $400+. We have now finalised collaborations with Haider Ackermann and Luka Sabbat too, which is all very exciting. We see our exclusive collaborations as a real game changer. Mystery boxes are a huge social media hit and are a growing way of consuming fashion – especially among Gen Z and millennial shoppers, though our reach is growing far and wide.
How do brands benefit from partnering with HEAT?
We give fashion fans a new way of buying luxury fashion at a discounted price, while giving brands an innovative way of disposing of excess stock. But now that concept has evolved as brands want to provide us with current season pieces so their offer looks fresh – gaining ultimate exposure via influencers on social media. HEAT now has more than 600,000 Instagram followers so, for brands, it’s a win-win – especially in the current retail climate dulled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers go online to select their size and which type of box they would like to receive, whether it be streetwear or now contemporary labels too. There are also two pricing tiers to select from, either £299 or £500 for one-three items, depending on the product, it’s value and desirability. We guarantee the recommended retail price of the products in the box are between £500-£800 for the £299 box, and £850-£1,200+ for the £500 box. So, you feel like you’re getting a deal with the added excitement of receiving a HEAT branded box and the added reassurance of our stamp of authority that anything inside is the real deal and highly sought-after. We focus on premium and luxury brands, including the likes of Ambush, Ader Error, Polythene Optics, Maisie Willen, Ann Demeulemeester, LOEWE, John Elliot, Rhude, Nemen, Y/Project, AMIRI, Casablanca and JW Anderson. I’d say we get less than 8% returns for refunds on our mystery boxes, which always guarantee the RRP value is greater than the cost of the box. Aside from protecting brand values, HEAT is helping brands reduce their environmental footprint.
Is sustainability a focus then?
Due to the unpredictable nature of the fashion industry there is often a surplus of products from past, current and exclusive collections which are either sent to landfill, incinerated or heavily discounted. Our service provides brands with a sustainable channel to avoid these outcomes while also preserving brand values. We provide invaluable data insight and offer a sustainable channel for surplus stock, helping brands meet their sustainability targets.
How would you best describe the HEAT concept?
We are a leading provider of luxury fashion mystery boxes, offering the hottest and most sought-after designer items at an affordable price. Curated by people who live and breathe fashion, HEAT provides an unrivalled unboxing experience that takes the customer on a unique shopping journey. We were only established in November, 2019, to coincide with Black Friday – created by six friends brought together through our successful careers within various areas of the fashion industry, focusing on the new mystery box phenomenon. Sharing a mutual recognition of the environmental crisis exacerbated by the fashion industry, our team set out to develop creative solutions for the lack of accessibility and sustainability within the luxury market. By combining our expertise in retail, wholesale, and marketing, HEAT was born - creating a new and innovative platform that promotes a positive and sustainable way of shopping. Our boxes feature highly coveted items designed to elevate any wardrobe with refined, modern, staple and statement pieces. Each box contains a curated assortment of pieces ranging from apparel, shoes, bags and luxury accessories. We also work with a growing mix of European retailers and we now have a new 15,000 sq ft facility in Sheffield housing stock. Currently I’d say our offer is 80/20 men’s to women’s, but we are slowly building up our female offering with a range of exciting collaborations to be announced soon.
How did you get so quickly established?
HEAT has established a significant following through our influencer-centric marketing strategy. We’ve built a reputation as a trendsetter, offering general advice and style inspiration to our community. Our original ‘Streetwear Box’, containing the ultimate combination of sought-after products with a street culture edge, has sold thousands of units and underpinned our success to date. We have operations in the UK, US and Europe with plans for expansion into Asia and Africa within the next year. We’re moving rapidly and gaining an increasing customer base on a global scale.
How has the business evolved already?
We rebranded in August, 2020. Building on the success of our original ‘Streetwear Box’, we are excited to have extended our product line to present the ‘Contemporary Box’ - offering luxury products from high-end fashion houses with a more refined aesthetic. In addition to this, we will soon launch our style profile tool, which will allow us to deliver tailored boxes while maintaining the mystery element. The more we know about our customers, the better we can serve them and give them what they want, albeit still with that element of surprise.
So, there’s now a personalised touch to the HEAT offer?
There is indeed. We believe personalisation goes hand in hand with luxury, and in order to provide an exemplary service, we want to get to know our customers. This entails understanding their likes and dislikes, whether that’s brands or colours, which will allow our team of experts to curate more tailored boxes. Other exciting developments coming soon, as well as the new collaborations, include subscription plans with exclusives being the key as we continue to grow our following even more.