If you are a fan of the Let's Play genre, there is a good chance you know who Markiplier (Mark Fischbach) and Jacksepticeye (Seán McLoughlin) are. The pair are some of the platform's biggest talents with 50 million subscribers between them. They have grown media empires from gaming before adding in additional vlog channels and collaboration projects. However, fans may not know who Brian Mann is. The executive is the CEO of Cloak Brands, the clothing line which Mark and Seán co-founded years ago.
Recently, ComicBook.com got the chance to speak with Mann about Cloak's recent collaboration with Mojang over Minecraft Dungeons. It was there the CEO explained how the brand's vision has matured over the years and where it will go next.
During our chat, Mann said Mark and Seán looked into making Cloak after they realized there was no brand designated for gamers on the market. "There was no brand that was for gamers, people that love gaming. So it was founded as sort of a natural leisure brand for gamers, and it was very successful out the gate."
However, things changed after Cloak was given the opportunity to partner with the Trevor Project, an organization supporting the LGBTQ+ community in education and crisis prevention. Cloak teamed up to create the Colors line that sold out immediately, and Mann said he was brought on nearly a year ago to help expand the brand into something more multifaceted than simply gaming.
"I think that was very much a window into what we felt that the brand could evolve towards. I was hired about nine months ago under the premise of taking that window and expanding it into being more of a brand for people that don't have a brand, which I think is very important. We kind of have shifted towards the idea that we're this not so secret society of misfits who are hidden in plain sight under the cloak. We're bound together by our shared passions and shared values and that we welcome all."
One way of doing this was to work with Mojang on a collaboration line to celebrate the release of Minecraft Dungeons. The game, which has been in works with Microsoft for some time, was eager to make itself approachable for anyone interested in dungeon crawling. And in the same way, Cloak was wanting to challenge its designers in making fashion-forward clothing that was gender neutral and narratively driven.
"We kind of work in a very collaborative way, drawing inspiration from Mark and Jack, drawing inspiration from the community. And what we come to is the idea that Minecraft is built on these icons that are sort of very much ... they're very much endemic of classic sort of eternal gaming iconography, like the torch, and the roast leg, and the sword."
"It's thinking about how these elements are like artifacts, and that what we're doing, the things that we love and the things that we enjoy are actually ... they're worthy of being celebrated and remembered as really as elements of pop culture significance. So from a design perspective, we looked at how can we put the key elements of Minecraft through the lens of what does it look like if they're through the lens of artwork.'0comments
Drawing inspiration from classical art and The Matrix, Cloak's artists came up with something special for its Minecraft Dungeons collection. From lined cloaks to beanies and graphic shirts, the line is unlike any you have seen made for the Mojang giant. And while Mann is unsure which IP the brand will work with next, we can say we're certain Cloak's next endeavor will be one worth wearing whenever it debuts.
You can check out Cloak Brand here to learn more about its catalog and mission. And if you want to know more about Minecraft Dungeons, let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.