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Bandai Namco hopes satin bomber jackets make Tekken fans ‘walking evangelists’

Bandai Namco has released a limited edition bomber-style jacket in anticipation of Tekken 7.

Gaming brand Bandai Namco and marketing agency Midnight Oil partnered to give fans of the fighting franchise Tekken some high fashion in anticipation of the release of the latest iteration of the game, Tekken 7, in early 2017.

The brand announced the availability of limited edition Sukajan Jackets, or souvenir jackets – satin bomber-style jackets it said are inspired by Japanese culture and were originally popularized by American GIs returning home post-war with souvenirs.

1,000 jackets are available for pre-order. Per a rep, the jackets will be delivered “end of the year.”

When asked about the brand’s decision to design the jackets in support of Tekken 7, the rep wrote in an email, “These types of jackets are just trending right now.”

Project Runway designer Carrie Sleutskaya collaborated on the design.

The Heihachi Edition Tekken 7 Sukajan Jacket is inspired by Heihachi Mishima, one of the original characters of the game that has since been featured in every version. The rep said the embroidery on the reversible jacket – which includes 440,000 stitches – is related to Heihachi’s story, which appears to include a tiger and a dragon.

The numbered jackets are available for $449.

Making its debut at the Tekken 7 Comic-Con panel — and first worn by Game Director Katsuhiro Harada — the jacket has also appeared at Pax.

In addition, the brand said gaming personality Jessica Chobot will create a series of “buzzworthy” social media posts on her channels. Per the rep, Chobot provides “the prefect bridge of pop/gaming culture and fashion” and her fashion and lifestyle blog, VogueLeader, was a logical choice to showcase a product that combines gaming and fashion.

“Our partners at Bandai Namco wanted to create a big splash in the months leading up to the next iteration of the Tekken franchise by creating something that would really get their fans talking,” said Oogie Lee, senior creative director of Midnight Oil, in a statement. “This will be the first in what we hope will be an expanding line of premium merchandise that rewards diehard fans by letting them celebrate their beloved brands, becoming walking evangelists through the expression of fashion.”

Tekken first appeared in arcades in 1994, followed by PlayStation in 1995, and has since sold over 42.5m copies, making it one of the biggest fighting genre franchises, the rep said.