The Internet of the future is not necessarily unanimous, if not among the fashion players who multiply the initiatives to carve out a place of choice in these new virtual worlds.
What do Hermès and Zara have in common? At first glance, none but their favorite target, the demanding Gen Z, and their enthusiasm for the metaverse. Like many of their counterparts, these fashion brands with very different universes and placements have made a virtual 180-degree turn in the past few months, and more. It is no longer just a matter of developing online shopping and associated services, but of making, more than a turning point, a real entry into the metaverse, their new communication tool, also of seduction, with their younger customers. .
A bridge between real and virtual
One thing is certain, the fashion industry will not have allowed itself to be overwhelmed by the advent, if any, of new virtual worlds, paving the way for many other sectors. Something that led to the launch of NFT and digital collections in 2021, and continues today with experiences very close to those offered in the real world. Pop-up shops, advertising campaigns, muses, product launches, even previews, are now the subject of a double highlight, in both real and virtual worlds, only to seduce an ever wider audience. And if the first Fashion Week in the metaverse did not achieve the hoped-for success, never mind, the fashion brands do not intend to give up this boon that should, sooner or later, pay off big time.
Unlike some luxury brands, such as Gucci, Hermès had not yet tried to exploit the possibilities offered by the metaverse, but it could only be a matter of time. At the moment there are rumors about a possible entry of the label, known for its silk squares and its Birkin bag, in these new virtual worlds. Something that would be done through trademark filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as a specialist attorney just revealed. This would concern not only the development of NFTs and cryptocurrencies, but also virtual collections, even parades. An announcement that, if confirmed, clearly demonstrates the importance of the metaverse for luxury.
Authentic 3.0 shops?
The house recognized for its ancestral know-how is not the only one to have triggered the latter in these parallel universes. For its return to New York Fashion Week on September 11, Tommy Hilfiger will present the ‘Tommy Factory’, which the brand describes as “a creative experimental playground inspired by the famous New York studio of Andy Warhol”, and which will be accompanied by a “synchronized activation in the metaverse”. A highly anticipated event that should build a bridge between past and present, but also between real and virtual.
For her part, Kate Spade is making a notable entry into the metaverse by opening what looks like a pop-up shop, designed as an extension of her Fall 2022 campaign. From 7 September, users will be able to enter, from the official brand website. , in a typical New York residence, but digital, to take part in a series of interactive experiences and activities. Decoration, music, gaming will not be lacking, but above all it will be possible to buy a preview of three of the new bags from the latest Kate Spade collection, while these are not yet available in physical form.
A concept that seems to have also conquered the Bulgari maison, which has just taken its first steps in the metaverse with the South Korean specialist Zepeto. The “Bulgari Sunset In Jeju”, between a pop-up store and a virtual café, allows users to participate in games, interactive experiences and win accessories and clothing for their avatars. An operation carried out with the contribution of Lisa, one of the members of the famous K-pop group Blackpink, which should leave very few Z indifferent.
The proliferation of these initiatives in fashion, luxury and ready-to-wear shows that the sector’s interest in the metaverse has not diminished, despite the slowdown in the NFT market. Synonymous with interaction, and therefore fidelity, but also with proximity and accessibility, the new virtual worlds present themselves as new essential communication tools for a rapidly evolving sector, even for luxury homes that probably would never have dared to think of doing this. I pass a few years ago.