Esports apparel brand Raven and London’s best-known sneaker destination Footpatrol launched a collaboration featuring collections for Call of Duty League teams: LA Thieves, London Royal Ravens, OpTic Chicago and Atlanta FaZe, sold exclusively at a retail pop-up in the heart of Soho, London on 10th July, 2021.
The Raven x Footpatrol pop-up has been created solely for UK fans of the Call of Duty franchise, offering a chance to experience community-driven activation after over 18 months of uncertain times. Our aim is to provide a safe event with exclusive lifestyle garments for retail and an opportunity to meet and greet globally recognised content creators. When designing out the team’s collections, we wanted to focus heavily on personifying each brand.
This allowed us to draw inspiration from each team’s history in esports, and also their regionalised foundations. The challenge was going to be creating a design language that makes every garment unique, yet still, work in an eight-piece collection. For the LA Thieves, everything was about identity. As a parent company, with owners such as Drake and Scooter Braun, 100Thieves have re-written the script for esports merchandise, so for us, this was about adding our own chapter. After spending time exploring numerous design directions, it became evident that anything too graphic-heavy wouldn’t work.
We decided to strip everything back, blow up the text logo lockup, print seam to seam and allow the brand to take centre stage. Atlanta FaZe has such a rich history in esports and wider gaming culture, one that has been littered with streetwear icons and collaborations with brands such as Premier League team Manchester City. The main inspiration came from their trademark hand sign, we used this as a silhouette to house their iconic camo texture.
For us, using a box fit tee and oversized hoodie would be a clear fan favourite for FaZe’s demographic. OpTic Chicago was an opportunity to look beyond esports and dive into the rich landscape of Chicago street fashion and culture. Taking the iconic oversized bomber and coupling it with a boxy graphic-heavy tee felt like a nice balance between past and present. Throughout the design, we included subtle nods to OpTic’s past, after all when you think of competitive Call of Duty, it’s impossible not to nostalgize their profound impact on the space. To round off the collection, London Royal Ravens was an opportunity to explore inspiration close to home.
As a brand born in the UK, the foundations built for UK Call of Duty are a shared heritage with ourselves. For the rich red tee, we designed a unique, festival esc take on the typography. For anyone who has attended a UK LAN event, the connection here will be unmistakable.
The Creative Director of Raven, Adam Cooper, explains the narrative behind the collection “We wanted to make sure every item offered something different to what can already be purchased. It was a joy to collaborate with Footpatrol and get lost in the collections on detailed construction, all the way from the contrasting sherpa knit and polyester to the debossed coach jacket aglets. We’re incredibly proud to be leading the way for CDL merch in Europe and are very excited to see where the long term partnership will take us.”
Sam Hodgkinson, Marketing & PR Manager of Footpatrol, speaks on the merging of esports and sneaker communities “With our store being within the heart of Soho and having such a strong sense of community cemented within it, the last year has proven a real challenge so having this opportunity to immerse ourselves within the world of esports and work on this project with both Raven and CDL has been a great experience. We hope that with this collection, we can further cement the connection between the gaming community and the sneaker community!
Launching the project locally in our neighbourhood of Soho, we can’t wait to see these two worlds collide, we look forward to seeing you all there!” All four collections will be sold exclusively at the Raven x Footpatrol pop-up store in Soho, London on 10th July 2021. The pop-up will also feature global peripheral brands ASTRO Gaming and Scuf Gaming, along with meet and greet sessions with UK based Call of Duty content creators Liam ‘Jukeyz’ Lunt and Angelika ‘Angelika’ Slon. The event will be open to all to attend, for one day only.