With alliances, betrayals, powerplays and intrigue, Game of Thrones readily captures the imagination. For Season 7, seven designers (and diehard fans of the series) created limited-edition, micro collections, featuring apparel and accessories to “Rep the Realm.” Drawing on the show for inspiration, the designers pulled Game of Thrones into their work, infusing modern streetwear with a healthy dose of fantasy.
Each week, a new design will be showcased here on Making Game of Thrones.
Koio by Chris Wichert
After tossing around four Game of Thrones-inspired designs for his modern-luxury sneaker brand, Koio co-founder Chris Wichert and his business partner landed on a shoe inspired by the kingslayer, himself: Jaime Lannister. “His character development is completely unexpected,” explained Wichert. “He started out as the bad boy, but proved that he had many elements that made the viewers including us sympathize with him.” The golden sneaker they produced “speaks to the Lannisters’ wealth” and has their coat of arms embossed on the heel. It also has a golden hand lace keep and “Kingslayer” printed in the sole. Wichert feels the shoe perfectly blends elements of the show’s mythology with Koio’s signature craftsmanship and minimalist aesthetic. He hopes whoever wears the shoe embodies the spirit of both Jaime and the brand, which he defines as “never giving up and standing up for your rights.”
40’s & Shorties by Adem Niazi, Drew Byrd and Ryan De La Cruz
When concepting their “Rep the Realm” design, the founders of 40’s & Shorties looked to get as much of the expansive GoT universe as possible into their design. They landed on a three-piece set: aloha shirt, bandana and side pouch. Adem Niazi (the mastermind behind the design) explains, “The silhouette of the shirt and the pattern let us incorporate several different elements, whether it be the titan of Braavos, one of the dragons or a castle, to cover our bases and get a full representation of the show.”
Even with the aloha shirt providing ample canvas to feature motifs from the show, Niazi felt there was still more to be done. For the bandana, he got to work personally customizing the artwork: “I’m a big fan of Americana. I wanted the design to read immediately Game of Thrones while simultaneously reading vintage.” With all three pieces, the 40’s & Shorties crew instilled their brand’s playful spirit into the designs, including palm trees and more traditional Americana and “aloha” elements. Merging the GoT universe with these aesthetics ended up being seamless: “You’ve seen this style of shirt in the past, but when you look at it up close, you can tell immediately that it’s Thrones inspired. You get that click factor.“ Niazi adds, “The bottom line is, Game of Thrones is dope and we love the show. That’s all the overlap we need.”
Billionaire Boys Club
“From the beginning, we knew the family crest was the direction to go in,” says Greg Locsin of Billionaire Boys Club’s on the custom Game of Thrones piece. “The art, the intricacy, all the banners and crests; that’s the kind of detail we wanted.” With family houses (“teams”) and the “great game” in mind, BBC chose to place highly-detailed sigils on varsity jackets.
The brand tapped Japanese designer Sk8thing, who worked on BBC’s original logos, to develop the graphics. While Sk8thing jammed on the design, American sportswear institution Golden Bear produced the jackets, and the team at BBC evolved the concept. “The team ethos and varsity jacket ties back to our world. It’s written into the DNA of streetwear, urban and hip hop culture,” Locsin explains. “Varsity jackets have this collective feel. We knew that would be a good canvas.” Locsin emphasizes the connection to the Game of Thrones theme: “The sigils are essentially family logos. Rep your team. Rep the realm.”
ALIFE by Treis Hill
After getting hooked on “the realistic life, power and politics” of Game of Thrones, Alife partner and general manager Treis Hill jumped at the opportunity to integrate his contemporary streetwear brand with the bold symbols of the Thrones universe. It was important for Hill to lean into Game of Thrones fandom in a way that felt both authentic to the brand and crossed over into a fashionable “right now” vibe and feel. For Alife’s GoT-inspired piece, Hill and his team matched the graphic logos of GoT, HBO and Alife on a white sweatshirt and designed brightly-colored pins which can be added and removed. Emblazoned with fan-favorite sigils and logos, the pins allow wearers to “customize [the sweatshirt] in their own special way.” Hill described the resulting sweatshirt as a combination of the company’s bold contemporary colors with iconic GoT elements. Hill summed it up: “strong logos from all three brands and the buttons represent the stories of all the families in the game.”
V/SUAL by Van Styles
“I wanted to make a piece that speaks to hardcore Game of Thrones fans but also can reach someone who may not know a lot about the show,” Stephen Vanasco (aka Van Styles) of V/SUAL explained. He went back to his skateboard roots, creating a set of decks, which when placed side by side, form the iconic map of Westeros and Essos. The decks are intended to serve a dual-purpose: “a heritage art piece that will last 20 years from now for diehard Game of Thrones fans” and a functional piece for “skate fans who can ride.” Whether they’re used for kick flips or hung on the wall, the decks are designed as mementos of the epic experience that is Game of Thrones.
DEE & RICKY by Dee and Ricky Jackson
Ricky Jackson and his twin brother Dee are the creative minds behind the brand Dee & Ricky. The Game of Thrones fans put their skills to work reimagining some of their favorite players in the “great game” as pixelated pins: Arya, Tyrion, Cersei, Jon, Sansa, Littlefinger, The Hound, Drogon, and Hodor with Bran on his back.
The pins are designed for versatility – add them to a baseball cap, purse, or suit lapel. The brothers want to use their pieces to get people talking. Ricky explains, “We’re into functional fashion and conversation pieces.” Each Game of Thrones pin depicts a distinct character. Like the show itself, the pins are designed to appeal to a mass audience and also serve as a way way to bring fans together and get them talking about their favorite parts of the show. For Ricky, it’s “the twists in characters, shock factor, and a mix of violence and politics” that keep him watching.
CARROTS by Anwar Carrots
Anwar Carrots, of the menswear label Carrots, reveals his wife and collaborator, Stella Blu, first introduced him to the show. “We work from home,” he explains, “and while we work, we watch Game of Thrones.”
Blu, is the artist behind the Dany sketch featured on the back of the t-shirt the couple designed. Carrots says, “My wife feels a connection to Khaleesi, and how hard it is for her as a female artist in a male dominated business.” His own role in the “Rep the Realm” collaboration was to figure out design and placement. He went with his first instinct to keep it clean and simple: Dany on the back of a white t-shirt, and a the Game of Thrones logo discreetly placed on a pair of black shorts. It’s an outfit designed for those ready to channel their inner Khaleesi.
Carrots personal favorite Dany moment? “I’m going to come clean: My favorite moment was when she met her man, Khal Drogo.” He adds, “When I saw that big dude kiss his girl like that, because he loved her... That was my favorite part. It felt the same for me and my wife.”