The Internet of the future is not necessarily unanimous, except for fashion players who are multiplying initiatives to take the place of choice in these new virtual worlds.
What do Hermès and Zara have in common? At first glance, none, if not for their favorite target, the demanding Generation Z and their enthusiasm for the metaverse. Like many of their peers, these fashion brands with very different worlds and positionings have made a virtual 180-degree turn or more in recent months. This is no longer just a matter of developing online shopping and related services, and not just a breakthrough, but a real entrance to the metaverse, their new tool for communication, even seduction, with their customers, the youngest.
Bridge between real and virtual
One thing is certain: the fashion industry will not allow new virtual worlds, if any, to emerge, paving the way for many other sectors. Something that led to the launch of NFTs and digital collections in 2021 and continues today with an experience very close to what is offered in the real world. Pop-up stores, ad campaigns, muses, product launches, even previews are now the subject of double focus, in both worlds, real and virtual, just to seduce an ever-expanding audience. And if the first Fashion Week in the metaverse did not bring the expected success, it’s okay, fashion brands are not going to give up this manna, which must pay off sooner or later.
Unlike some luxury brands like Gucci, Hermès hasn’t yet tried to exploit the possibilities offered by the metaverse, but it could only be a matter of time. Rumors are currently circulating about the possible entry of the label known for its silk scarves and Birkin bag into these new virtual worlds. Something that will be done by filing trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as a specialist lawyer just said. This will 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 to luxury.
Real Stores 3.0?
The house, known for its ancestral know-how, is not the only one to have caused a second in these parallel universes. Upon returning to New York Fashion Week on September 11, Tommy Hilfiger will unveil “Tommy Factory,” which the brand describes as “a creative experiential venue inspired by Andy Warhol’s iconic New York studio” that will be accompanied by “synchronized metaverse activation.” A long-awaited event that should build a bridge between the past and the present, as well as between the real and the virtual.
For her part, Kate Spade is making a notable contribution to the metaverse by opening what appears to be a pop-up store designed as an extension of her fall 2022 campaign. From September 7th, users will be able to log in from the brand’s official website. on the website in a typical New York but digital townhouse to take part in a host of interactive experiences and activities. Decoration, music, games will be there, but above all it will be possible to buy a preview of three new bags from Kate Spade’s latest collection, although they are not yet available in physical form.
A concept that seems to have also captivated jewelry house Bulgari, which has just taken its first steps into the metaverse with South Korean specialist Zepeto. “Bulgari Sunset In Jeju” between the pop-up store and virtual cafe allows users to participate in games, interactive activities, and win accessories and clothes for their avatars. An operation carried out with the participation of Lisa, one of the members of the famous K-pop group Blackpink, which should leave very few Z indifferent.
The proliferation of these fashion, luxury and ready-to-wear initiatives shows that the industry’s interest in the Metaverse is unabated despite the slowdown in the NFT market. Synonymous with interaction and therefore loyalty, as well as proximity and accessibility, new virtual worlds do seem to be important new communication tools for a rapidly changing sector, even for luxury homes that would probably never dare to think about it. step a few years ago.