The digital world is not necessarily a novel idea; however, the presence of the fashion industry within it has been rapidly growing over the past few years, with 2022 in particular proving to be a year that has so far been full to the brim of digital integration and metaverse activations. While the digital world is not necessarily a novel idea, the presence of the fashion industry within it has been rapidly increasing over recent years.
In a new analysis, Fashionbi explores the numerous ways in which businesses are making use of this constantly evolving virtual world. These brands are employing a variety of methods in the hopes of appealing to their client group in fresh and engaging ways.
FashionUnited has, through the use of Fashionbi’s research, highlighted the most popular techniques businesses have been employing in order to penetrate the metaverse, as well as the reasons why these particular strategies are so appealing.
A non-fungible token, also known as an NFT, is something that can be found in the blockchain ecosystem. This token, however, is unique in that it is the only one of its type, and it is able to store additional data in contrast to the coin. The bearer of a non-fungible token (NFT), which can be anything from works of art and software to virtual assets like fashion products, is granted sole ownership of the asset that the NFT represents. The fact that the NFT gives purchasers a one-of-a-kind experience that is not easy to replicate is what has contributed to the company’s meteoric rise to prominence in the luxury goods sector.
Buyers get a variety of added rewards from owning this new artwork, such as the potential to integrate it into online games or unlock experiences, while companies that jump on the NFT bandwagon can benefit from a new cash stream. Brands that join the NFT bandwagon can benefit from a new revenue stream.
In its study, Fashionbi compiled a list of the most successful non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to date, the majority of which had first been purchased at auction and are now being exchanged on NFT marketplaces. The Doge Crown NFT, which was created by Dolce & Gabbana, came up on top of the list. The piece of artwork, which had been put up for auction in the beginning, eventually sold for more than 1.2 million dollars. Gucci’s Supergucci collection, which has been seen in resale for approximately 83,000 dollars, and Givenchy’s collaboration NFTs with Chito, which have reached a peak price of 13,000 dollars, are two more examples of highly successful product lines.
Platforms and virtual worlds for gaming that are popular
Users can choose to either explore, play games, or interact with their friends while participating in virtual worlds, each of which offers a variety of perks. The likes of Fortnite and Zepeto have already attracted a large number of brands that are looking to test the waters with digital merchandising and investigate the opportunities that are available within the realm of online gaming. These brands are interested in online retail spaces as well as other digital asset launches.
Roblox has particularly risen in the ranks, partnering with the likes of Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, and, most recently, Clarks on digital fashion drops, in-game experiences, and branded gaming offers. While Nintendo’s Animal Crossing was a hit during the pandemic for both players and retailers alike, Roblox has particularly risen in the ranks. In a similar vein, the 3D virtual area known as Decentraland has left an indelible imprint on the world of fashion ever since the inaugural Metaverse Fashion Week took place back in March. At the digital event, brands and stores such as DKNY and Etro made their debut in the metaverse for the very first time. Selfridges also participated.
Acquisitions of digital enterprises and investments in digital startups have also played a significant role in the development of metaverse brand activations in recent years. Following the introduction of its virtual experience in Roblox, which has already had roughly seven million visitors, Nike, for example, purchased the virtual sneakers company Rtfkt in December 2021. Another company that is focusing on digitally-centered platforms is Diesel, which will introduce its very own virtual platform known as D:verse in March of 2022. The website gives users the opportunity to buy both traditional and one-of-a-kind non-physical versions of the brand’s apparel items.
As part of its annual Innovation Award, which is granted during the Viva Technology conference, the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH has been an active investor in digital start-ups as well as established digital businesses. The winner of the prize for this year will be chosen from a shortlist of 21 start-up companies. The companies on the list range from those that specialise in omnichannel and retail to those that offer 3D product experiences and metaverses.
Shows of clothing displayed digitally
When the world was confronted with stringent lockdowns in the year 2020, several brands turned to the virtual world in order to continue exhibiting collections and maintaining connections with their clients. The Fabric of Reality, which was built by RYOT, came after GCDS opened a virtual fashion arcade and runway show, which established a precedent for future endeavours in this field. This year, however, virtual reality (VR) runway shows have become more prominent, with shows held via the likes of VR platform Second Life, headed by Jonathan Simkhai, and Crypto Fashion Week, which launched a number of NFT drops and panel discussions. Jonathan Simkhai is the creative director of both of these events.
Not only has there been a spate of digitally driven fashion events, but also traditional fashion shows have started include metaverse activations as part of their lineups. For the spring/summer 2022 season, for instance, Paris Fashion Week incorporated NFTs into its offering. These NFTs were provided to accredited guests so that they could access unique content and augmented reality (AR) activities. In addition, during London Fashion Week in February 2022, Roksanda collaborated with the organisation to release an NFT version of the brand’s finale look. This NFT version was introduced in limited edition bundles and gave customers the opportunity to virtually try on the look before making a purchase.
experiences available both online and in stores
In addition to digital artworks and virtual runways, many firms have also started exploring the potential of augmented reality (AR) shopping experiences. These new retail locations, which are frequently found in the aforementioned virtual worlds, make it possible for gamers to peruse branded products, make purchases of those products, and then put those products on their personal avatars, thereby bringing a brand’s merchandise to life in the digital realm. One of the most well-known companies to implement this tactic was Selfridges, which opened its very own virtual reality department store in Decentraland. The immersive experience featured a number of art exhibitions and in-store activations by various brands, including Paco Rabanne. The experience was modelled after the retailer’s location in Birmingham, Alabama.