Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf has been an instantly recognizable figure ever since he lifted a trophy to signify his status as a Fortnite world champion. Sure, he had his fans on Twitch and he was already a well-known name in the Fortnite community, but winning a championship takes your fame to a new level.
Giersdorf has turned that fame into a number of opportunities away from gaming, with the latest feather in his cap being a matching hoodie and joggers designed by him and Hollister. Giersdorf, only 18, isn’t too far removed from being one of those people who would head to the mall and pick up some clothes from the store.
“Hollister was a brand that I did wear when I was younger in middle school and early high school,” Giersdorf told Uproxx. “I don’t know, when I just got that opportunity was just kind of something crazy to me. And I was just kind of taken away by that, because it’s one of the biggest clothing brands in the world.”
The only article of clothing available right now is a hoodie, which fitting for Giersdorf, who prefers to wear things that are more relaxed. But there’s potential for this relationship to continue to blossom into something more. Hollister is using this opportunity with Giersdorf to make him their “Chief Gaming Scout,” a role in which he will scout potential up-and-coming streamers for Team Hollister, the brand’s new gamer training program that will launch this November in collaboration with Twitch. The program will include a series of livestreamed training sessions.
“Pretty much what I’m doing is I’m picking three people based on either their skills in Fortnite, or just how they are as creators, and we’re partnering with Twitch for that,” Giersdorf says. “They’re going to receive a sponsorship from Hollister and a monthly mentorship from me. And hopefully, [put them] on the road to the biggest gaming creators … [I’ll be looking at] their dedication to the game how much time they put into their content. That’s what I find super interesting. Definitely, the people that are on there doing, like, 9-10 hours streams a day. That’s pretty much what I was looking for, dedication and commitment.”
It’s a pretty full plate for someone so young, but Giersdorf is someone that Hollister believes will represent their goals of embracing a younger audience.
“We’re always focused on meeting our Gen Z customers where they are, and gaming continues to be a rising area of interest for global teens,” says Kristin Scott, Global Brand President at Abercrombie & Fitch Co. “We’ve recently been successfully and authentically showing up in the gaming world, particularly with our Fortnite tournament earlier this year, so we’re excited to delve even further into this area through our partnership with Bugha and the launch of Team Hollister.”
Maybe in a year, one will be able to walk into a Hollister and find three new designs from the up-and-comers that Giersdorf chose, or an entire section for their gaming partnerships. As Twitch, streaming, and video games become more and more prominent, these kinds of deals are just going to be seen as more normal. Giersdorf’s hoodie, and new role as Chief Gaming Scout, is just the start.