The obvious locations to shop for apparel from our favorite games is typically reserved for places like Hot Topic or the games’ official shop. When these items show up at more general, mass-market retailers it means more accessibility both from an availability and price standpoint. Which is why I was hyped to learn about League of Legends branded merch showing up at the worldwide fast-fashion retailer, H&M.
Unfortunately, my excitement quickly deflated when I took a look at the offering.
The “collection" —which I put in quotes since the items are just add-ons to their existing regular listings — includes hoodies, tees, and a pair of joggers. Likely print-on-demand, meaning they don’t actually print the item until a purchase is made, you can choose from Spirit Blossom Yone, the League of Legends logo, Yasuo, Yasuo, Yasuo, or...Yasuo.
A champion pool of over 150 and four out of the seven garments available feature Yasuo. Just last September, Yasuo was also the main champion selected for AAPE’s League of Legends collection.
Who is Yasuo’s internal stan at Riot and why aren’t you giving us Urgot joggers or a Draven fanny pack instead?!
Lack of character diversity aside, the designs themselves aren’t very compelling either. The oversized logos and boxy splash art feel more on-trend with what we were seeing from streetwear brands pre-pandemic. In fact, Overwatch created a similar-looking, albeit more designed collection, for Forever 21 back in 2019. All the artwork just feels very pasted on.
Not all hope is lost however. Both the Spirit Blossom hoodies are much more thoughtful and I appreciate the subtle, mysterious verbiage on the front with the oversized character graphic on the back. This feels like a much more interesting presentation of the brand and its characters.
I understand the importance of trying to appeal to the mass market with more simplified designs but perhaps celebrating more than just two characters from one of the most robust character rosters ever would have resonated better with both those familiar and unfamiliar with the brand.
I’m excited about the potential for more League gear that’s accessible. I just hope future collections are much more inclusive and thoughtful.