The FaZe Clan, Kappa collaboration

FaZe Clan has held only two pop-up events to date — at Stadium Goods in New York City and a space in Santa Ana, Calif. They were both shut down by the police.

On Nov. 16, the e-sports and gaming lifestyle brand makes its third attempt with FaZe Arcade in its home city of Los Angeles at 7312 Melrose Avenue.

The Eighties arcade-themed pop-up will remain open through December and will host games and collaborations with Kappa, followed by Clot and Lyrical Lemonade, a hip-hop collective from Chicago, as well as merchandise drops with rapper Offset and FaZe member Ewok.

The Kappa collection features FaZe Clan and the Italian brand’s co-branding on T-shirts and hoodies, track jackets, pants and shorts, short- and long-sleeve polo shirts, soccer-inspired jerseys and accessories such as socks, slippers and bags.

This isn’t the first time the two have worked together. Their partnership actually dates to 2018 when the two collaborated on merchandise and a pop-up tied to the Gumball 3000 car tour in Los Angeles. Conversations about a bigger capsule began there.

FaZe Clan pop up

A rendering of the FaZe Clan pop-up in Los Angeles.  Courtesy Photo

“This is the first time we’ve put together a whole capsule. We didn’t want to move away from an athletic sports feel, because we are a sports team,” said Greg Selkoe, president of FaZe Clan. “I think Kappa really fits the lifestyle of FaZe Clan. It’s a soccer brand, but has a little more edge to it.”

The brand is reintroducing its sports heritage to the consumer. The Italian label launched a new campaign, “Live Authentic,” featuring singer Benjamin Mascolo, actor Riccardo Mandolin, rapper Rkomi and kite surf champion Greta Menardo in their element training and performing. It marked the launch of the campaign with a party in downtown Los Angeles on Nov. 12 that saw guests J.R. Smith and Justin Combs and collaborations with Gumball, Marcelo Burlon, Koral and the coming collection with FaZe Clan.

“Dre [Hayes of The Foundation, distributor and partner of Kappa] and I have known each other for 20 years. He is a visionary and saw that wave early,” said Selkoe, who was also the founder of Karmaloop, joined the e-sports lifestyle brand in 2018.

Selkoe said FaZe Clan considers itself more of a lifestyle brand than a e-sports organization. Though the crew is composed of pro players and teams that compete in games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty and Fifa among others, FaZe Clan also has casual gaming members such as Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons and rappers Offset and Lil Yachty, and two mansions in the Hollywood Hills where team members play.

The organization boasts 214 million fans in all social media platforms and merges streetwear, fashion and art with a focus in gaming. A FaZe Rug pop-up — tied to one of its most popular players — drew more than 8,000 people to Santa Ana, and the Stadium Goods pop-up for the Fortnite World Cup, according to Selkoe, formed a line of “10 blocks of people in two days.” Both events were for one day only.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “The kids want the merch, but they’re so enamored by the players. It’s what you see in soccer fandom, but with a very keen fashion sense.”

He added, “Ten percent of the world who are in the gaming ecosphere are into competition, whereas 90 percent are just gamers. They do it for lifestyle. They do it to relax. We have a lot of guys who aren’t pros that are personalities. They all have their own capsule collections and offshoot brands. A lot of the FaZe guys will be [at the pop-up] for the two months.”

Selkoe added that FaZe Clan aims to grow its outreach to female gamers in 2020 and will debut a collaboration with a “major sneaker company” he declined to name.

Asked about the possibility of the third pop-up also being shut down, Selkoe said, “Let’s hope we can get past any police shutdown. The good news is if we get shut down we’ll be open for two months more.”

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