Monday, December 27, 2021

"Fashion And The Metaverse: Why Ralph Lauren Wants To Sell You Digital Clothing"

Isn't Ralph passé? I mean in the same way that families that were formerly dressed by Balenciaga or Givenchy would say "Who?" if you mentioned them today. They're still around but the caravan has moved on.

From Forbes, December 25:

In December, Ralph Lauren opened its newest stores, passing over sprawling metropolitan cities like Milan, Tokyo and New York for an enticing new location: the online world of Roblox, with 47 million daily active users. It stocked its virtual stores, open 24/7 and accessible to anyone in the world in just a few clicks, with virtual puffer jackets, checkered beanies and other retro skiwear for the winter season, priced under $5.

It’s just the latest example of how the fashion industry is beginning to delve into the so-called metaverse, with Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Balenciaga and others charging real money for digital-only clothing and accessories. As silly as it may sound, it’s being heralded as a potential new goldmine, with Morgan Stanley predicting that the metaverse could present a $50 billion-plus opportunity for the luxury industry in the next decade.

Here’s a quick guide to get up to speed on what the metaverse is, and why fashion brands are racing to set up shop in it: 

Wait. Remind me what the metaverse is, again?

Frankly, that is still being figured out. But the idea is that it could be the next version of the internet, offering a more immersive and three-dimensional experience. In the metaverse, you have a digital persona called an avatar that can seek out experiences that are similar to what you might do in the real world — you can shop, eat at restaurants and attend concerts. While it has begun to take shape in various online gaming platforms, like Roblox, it remains largely theoretical.

 Is this really a new idea?

Not exactly. People have spent time immersed in online video games for years, and brands got involved there too. Adidas, Armani and Calvin Klein experimented with digital fashion on Second Life, an online virtual world that had some one million members at its peak in 2007. In 2012, Diesel began selling clothing and furniture on The Sims. In 2019, Louis Vuitton developed ‘skins’ — an in-game purchase that changes a player’s appearance— for players in League of Legends....


On the other hand, maybe I should get a storefront, sell some merch. 
"Join the cult, get the handbag half off."