We sat down with Founder and CEO, Cole Gurman to discuss in-depth more of his background, H4X’s lively fashion brand and the development of the esports fashion subculture.
The fashion industry has always been a part of Cole’s life as his family history has and still is very much involved. “I’m a natural merchandiser in that sense.” Cole studied accounting and finance at university. Despite being heavily involved in the trading sector, Cole transitioned to esports. “I have been gaming since middle school, even during the Nintendo 64 days. The most notable times when I was gaming was playing Modern Warfare 2.” Cole explained it was a natural process for him to merge gaming and fashion amongst each other.
Alongside H4X, Cole is also the CEO and Founder of Moniker, a global licensing and management company focused on esports. It was incepted 5 years ago - “it's a newer company, but the background and the underlying concept is not. I’ve mentioned before that there is a long-lasting pedigree in my family in the fashion industry and that’s by virtue of a company called J Corp.” - J Corp Inc. is a Candian-based supplier company within apparel, accessories and other merchandise. J Corp Inc. was founded by Jack Gurman in 1959, originally called JAYGUR. In 1981, sons Jon and Marvin Gurman were appointed. JAYGUR switched to J Corp Inc. in 2002.
Moniker wanted to enhance how players dressed and have since developed new areas in the esports fashion market within H4X. “There are so many branches nowadays that we are working towards...There are so many other business segments that we are diving into.”
“We have our own warehouse in Canada and the United States and distribution centres overseas. There’s the product which is the most important part. We have worked tirelessly to create the best silhouettes possible.”
“Our hoodies, we worked on a multitude of hoodie silhouettes with oversized hoods, different fabrications, compositions, weight, different things about the garment that are comparable, if not better.”
H4X is a versatile clothing brand within the esports fashion subculture, not only distributing their own unique styles and garments, but have worked alongside teams and esports influencers such as Call of Duty League’s Toronto Ultra and Overwatch League’s Toronto Defiant (OverActive Media), Nate Hill and NICKMERCS
“We keep the competitive gamer at the forefront of what we do: the clothing we put out, from loungewear to activewear to our core in the middle (which is going to be special, it’s unreleased so I can’t touch more on it)”
“We call it our professional loungewear because it’s versatile enough to wear whilst you are lounging and gaming at home but also if you want to go out somewhere. We keep our core principles in mind: soft, lightweight, and environmentally versatile.”
Within Cole’s history of the fashion industry, he explained that fashion has evolved through the way consumers perceive inspiration. “For a long time, hip hop artists such as A$AP Rocky were the most influential within setting trends. Now, we’re in a stage where there are so many different avenues of inspiration.” He further explained how fashion trends are becoming reinvented and that’s the approach they take within H4X.
Cole describes the gaming industry as ubiquitous; there are so many different subcategories within esports fashion. He also explained that his brand drives into the current market. “We’re not telling gamers what to wear and how to wear it, that rules back to our vision and perspective...Speaking is only one component but what we put out is really what creates a narrative.”
Speaking on joining as a founding member of Esports Fashion Week: “We’re really excited and I think it’s really special because it’s an essential concept where if people that want to know more on esports fashion and they don’t know who to follow or where to go, it’s created this regulatory framework where they can do their research and hear from a variety of different brands and people on the council and get a more authoritative voice - in that respect, I think it’s fantastic."