Why Luxury Brands Join The Metaverse?
As crazy as the idea of buying luxuries that you can never touch sounds to you, it has long been a reality for gamers who use virtual clothes to establish their identity online. To some, owning a purse that they’ll never get their hands on is far more exciting than waiting months or years for the right Hermès bag to become available.
In online games, players wear ‘skins’ — outfits or shells, which makes the player’s appearance customisable. Such avatars have all the potential to eventually become as common as today’s profile pictures on social media, replacing static images with living 3D representations of real-life people, copying our expressions and gestures. No surprise, the fashion industry has taken this trend quite seriously.
Luxury Brands Getting a Taste of the Metaverse
Big luxury houses are already making their first steps into the metaverse. Gucci launched a virtual Gucci Garden space on Roblox. Balenciaga dropped a collection in Fortnite. Burberry collaborated with Mythical Games and released a limited-edition collection of Sharky B, which sold out in just 30 seconds for almost $400,000.
One of the very recent launches is Ralph Lauren’s debut on Roblox, The Ralph Lauren Winter Escape. It is a holiday-themed experience that includes an exclusive gender-neutral digital collection of clothes featuring limited-edition items.
Yes to Profit, No to Overstock and Discounts
It’s no secret that in high-end fashion, designers take weeks to create exclusive custom-fitted garments. Well, that is not really the case for the creation of virtual clothes. Adjusting pre-programmed templates would only take minutes! On top of that, all limitations dictated by market practicalities, gravity or logic are simply gone. In other words, the metaverse opens up vast opportunities for designers’ creativity.
Another very plausible benefit for luxury brands is that they can reissue their archival designs as pieces exclusively available in the metaverse. It’s an effective way to introduce a brand’s legacy to new generations. Imagine getting an original Schiaparelli’s lobster dress from 1937, which can only be worn on your avatar?
Most, if not all, luxury fashion brands have overproduction and end-of-season stock. These eventually lead to discounts and diminished value. The metaverse can help luxury brands solve this problem of oversupply. After watching a virtual fashion show, customers could place their orders online, which would allow brands to produce what has already been purchased and not overfill retail stores with real-life garments.
Metaverse Replacing Real World?
All this may still sound off and maybe even make some assume that the metaverse is soon to replace the real, physical world. Don’t worry. It is certainly not the end of the real stuff. Virtual design remains a niche business (just like real-life haute couture). For the generation of young people raised in an environment where virtual reality is a norm, the idea of investing in digital appearance makes perfect sense.
Buckle up! Let’s see how luxury brands shape virtual fashion in 2022.
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