Lightning Strikes as Louis Vuitton, ‘Final Fantasy’ Collide

December 29, 2015, 3:25 PM UTC
Louis Vuitton Icon handbag
Louis Vuitton Icon handbag
Courtesy: Louis Vuitton

The iconic fashion brand Louis Vuitton has enlisted the help of a digital heroine to promote its goods.

Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere has published ads for his fashion house featuring Lightning from the Final Fantasy series. In a post to Instagram this week, Ghesquiere called Lightning a “genuine heroine,” adding that the ad for the Louis Vuitton series 4 campaign is where “reality and fantasy become one.”

Lightning has become one of the more prominent characters in the Final Fantasy universe. She first appeared as a playable character in Final Fantasy XIII, and is the only playable character in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. She’s also featured in several other Final Fantasy games.

Final Fantasy is one of the most iconic franchises in gaming history. Most of the games have focused heavily on role-playing and storytelling, and the titles have often ventured into full-fledged combat, open-world concepts, and online play. The franchise was developed by Japan-based game developer and publisher Square-Enix.

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Lightning is arguably one of the more important Final Fantasy characters in recent memory, combining strong combat with what’s been called a “cool” personality that gamers have generally found appealing. It’s unclear what her future is in the Final Fantasy series, but it’s believed she will at least feature in future games.

Whatever the case, her inclusion in a premium fashion brand’s ad campaign is notable. She’s shown in one video, illustrated by her designer and famed gaming artist Tetsuya Nomura, showcasing some of Louis Vuitton’s latest handbags and clothing designs. The video starts with her wearing the same pink jacket and shorts as the first look from Ghesquiere’s latest collection. In stills, she’s seen showcasing handbags.

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The Lightning inclusion is part of a broader attempt by Ghesquiere to innovate on the brand’s design. Indeed, he has said that his latest collection was heavily influenced by video games, anime (Japanese animation), and other similar influences.

For Lightning, who features distinctive rose-colored hair and blue eyes, moving from the combat-intensive world of Final Fantasy to the fashion world is nothing new. In 2012, she was among several Final Fantasy characters included in ads from big-name fashion brand Prada.

Looking ahead, it’s unknown whether this is all for Lightning or if she may feature in more Louis Vuitton ads. Either way, the digital character has clearly become a trendsetter for both fashion and gaming.

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