From Nike to Balenciaga – Luxury Brands Setting up Shots in the Metaverse Race

    The booming of Metaverse has been pushing many luxury fashion brands urgently dive into the virtual field to catch up with new market wave.

    Metaverse – An Attractive and Potential Virtual Market

    The appeal over virtual goods has stem from recent predictions that the “Metaverse” will eventually replace current Internet. Some virtual world products such as Fortnite and Minecraft games or the Roblox platform have already started to enter the business.

    Metaverse drive the world to go crazy with NFTs and digital products

    Moreover, it is no longer a domain only for tech wizards and gamers. Luxury fashion brands have joined hands with NFT developers or launched their own NFT collections in the Metaverse. The fashion field is now leading the “Metaverse” trend. From jackets, hats, limited edition bags, and jewelry, these signature items are available for you to lay your hands on but only virtually.

    This trend has opened up huge opportunities for many brands, said Christina Wootton, Vice President of Partnerships at Roblox. Brands that move quickly can establish a lasting presence on a global scale.

    Luxury Fashion Brands Making It Big in the Metaverse

    A recent report predicted NFTs of luxury brands will be worth $56 billion by 2030. This may very well be the case, as a number of mainstream many brands have quickly taken action to catch up with new digital trend: 

    • One prominent name is Gucci. The Italian fashion house launched its first NFT experiment in May 2021 as a celebration for 100 years of establishment. It is a four-minute film, Aria, co-created by Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele and director Floria Sigismondi. The film was sold for USD 25,000 by art auction house Christie’s. All proceeds from the sale would go to charity for COVID-19 vaccine initiatives. Another product is the virtual version of Gucci Dionysus bag that was also sold for $4,115 on the gaming platform Roblox, using 350,000 Robux currency.
    Gucci launched a four-minute film in NFT form
    • Louis Vuitton is not out of trend either. This French fashion house celebrated its founder’s 200th birth anniversary by launching a mobile game called LOUIS THE GAME on August 4th, 2021. This is such a unique crossover of fashion and gaming, which is embedded with 30 NFTs. The game chronicles the journey through the long Louis Vuitton history of mascot Vivienne. The wooden doll, bearing the flower monogram of the LV brand is made by collaboration with NFT artist Beeple, stood at an estimated value of USD 69.3 million. However, this collection is not open for public selling.
    • Sneaker enthusiasts can also try on the NFT products from new pieces of Nike range, but cannot wear them in real life. Entering the virtual world, the sneaker giant acquired the digital sneaker brand RTKFT on December 14th, 2021. In early 2021, RTFKT teamed up with “Fewocious”, a popular crypto artist, and sold around 600 pairs of virtual shoes, fetching $3.1 million in under seven minutes.
    Nike launched an NFT collection
    • In the case of Balenciaga, this fashion brand is now having a partnership with the online game Fortnite. As to blur the lines between physical and digital, Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga, has made a digital avatar called ‘Doggo,’ who wears Balenciaga outfits in the Fortnite arena. 
    Balenciaga x Fortnite

    Additionally, users who make purchases for Balenciaga goods on Fortnite can submit their photos to be included on billboards of the game’s town square as well as enter a Balenciaga store to perform a custom dance. Other than that, in real life, people can walk up to the Madison Square Balenciaga store and shop the Fortnite x Balenciaga collection.

    Why Has Metaverse Become a New “Craze” in the Fashion Field?

    Remember when Facebook announced Meta, and suddenly the world went crazy over NFTs and the digital realm? Digital art collectibles, life-like avatars, high-end accessories, clothes, and even skin, NFTs have made up one of the largest markets virtually with a business potential worth billions. That’s when people begin to ask why Metaverse has such appeal? 

    To answer this question, firstly, we need to look at the definition of this term: 

    Simply put, Metaverse is a virtual world where humans interact with one another through digital avatars. This is also a data warehouse, providing valuable experiences and close-ups sight of products, even if the item doesn’t exist in real world.

    So, how does Metaverse affect the fashion digital market? 

    Normally, fashion runways are considered the biggest catwalks. Its aura drives consumers to spend money on branded clothes. However, with the Metaverse, the possibility to make profit is much higher because of the endless creative potential in cyberspace. Through the virtual world, anything can happen. Brands can sell not only regular products but also “absurd, crazy” creations in digital form. 

    According to recent research from Bain & Company and the online luxury fashion platform Farfetch, digital interactions with consumers are becoming increasingly important for brands. The report specifically states that “digital interaction is on the rise when choosing to purchase a product.” As such, NFTs tied directly to brands and their consumers are now more important than ever before.

    Besides the potential to attract more customers and boost sales, virtual clothing is also a solution to the supply chain crisis that has plagued the fashion market for the past 6 months and provides answer to the common sustainability problem of the whole garment industry. 

    Final words

    NFT is forecasted to make a new era in near future. Notably, NFTs will be more valuable when they added Metaverse “engine”. Luxury brands won’t miss out on this golden opportunity. Among those, which brand can make the most creative content, smartest marketing strategies, and unleash unlimited potentials of the Metaverse, will lead the race.  

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