Metaverse: the fashion brands doing product design as software | WARC | The Feed
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Metaverse: the fashion brands doing product design as software
Luxury and fashion brands were early adopters of the potential for virtual items in the metaverse – an embodied internet of avatars, similar to open-world gaming – but for some brands, its present-day utility appears to be based around product design and profit.
Why it matters
Luxury and fashion brands have been dipping their toes in the as-yet-uncharted waters of the metaverse, largely through graspable open-world platforms like Roblox, which are relatively safe and popular. Gucci was an early entrant to the Roblox space, creating in-game experiences, but there’s a new crop of brands trying out ideas in the virtual world, before turning the idea into a real-world product.
The FT has an interesting piece on a simple beanie hat that it put up for sale on its Roblox store for a very reasonable 75p (roughly $1) in December 2021; by November 2022, the item was available as a physical item.
- Key to the story is the vast profit the company made based on an initial $500 investment in the design and launch of the beanie, by selling around a million 75p virtual hats.
- When taking the physical version to market, it was with the knowledge that the item had found a kind of product-market fit and that it already had a receptive audience.
Many other brands are experimenting with the different technologies that have come to be known as Web3, with certain blockchain technologies (such as NFTs) still interesting to major brands looking to retain their products’ value and protect brand safety in virtual worlds.
But perhaps the way to think about these new ways of showing up in the metaverse is as an onramp to what can be intimidatingly expensive brands to purchase.
Sourced from the FT, WARC. Image: Forever 21
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