- Fashion brands are investing in the Metaverse. Different companies seem to take different approaches to penetrate the emerging Metaverse market.
- Athletic Apparel companies are investing in virtual spaces and NFT collections. However, their choice of virtual worlds is different.
- Fast Fashion and Mid-Range Clothing companies are building virtual worlds inside Roblox.
- Luxury Fashion Brands are taking different approaches to be a part of the Metaverse but remain exclusive.
- LVMH, a multinational corporation, is adapting different approaches for different brands.
Metaverse has become a popular buzzword in the past year. It has become a word encompassing many futuristic technologies and concepts, including blockchain, virtual reality, and web3. Traditional brands in the banking sector, fashion, and even current tech companies are positioning their companies in the Metaverse. This article will look into 15 fashion brands pivoting to the Metaverse. These companies are divided into four different sectors, which helps segment these fashion brands into other sectors.
Athletic apparel companies have become popular in pop culture in the 21st century. Many athletic companies have grown from sporting goods to athleisure clothing. Brands like Nike, Adidas, and Puma have navigated the internet era well, with a sizable online presence leading to sales through their e-commerce channels and stores. This section looks into these companies’ adoption of the Metaverse and NFTs. Looking at three athletic apparel giants will give a great idea of different approaches to penetrating the Metaverse market.
Nike has become the market leader in the sports apparel business by producing some of the most famous clothing lines and becoming a part of American pop culture by signing some of the most well-known athletes worldwide. The company’s iconic swoosh logo and company motto, “Just Do It,” has led to its brand recognition as well.
Nike has been a frontrunner in the Metaverse. The company has ventured into the Metaverse multiple times. Nikeland was Nike’s first venture in this space. It was a purpose-built metaverse space in Roblox. This space allowed fans to interact and engage in brand experiences.
Nike also recognizes the importance of digital assets. The company organized an NFT collectibles startup called RTFKT Studios. Nike launches collections of NFT sneakers in collaboration with RTFKT.
Adidas is a German sporting goods company and is currently the second largest sports manufacturer. The brand continues to compete with Nike in sales and brand recognition. Adidas’ three stripes are often used in their products and have become a big part of their brand.
Like Nike, Adidas has ventured into multiple projects. Adidas has purchased virtual land in the famous virtual world, The Sandbox. Moreover, the brand partnered with Yuga Labs to launch the company’s own NFT collection. The NFT collection is called INTO THE METAVERSE, and has various benefits for the owners. The brand has announced three different phases for this project.
Puma is a German multinational corporation that designs athletic wear like Nike and Adidas. While Puma’s sales are not as substantial as Nike and Adidas, the brand’s logo and recognition are respected in this industry. The brand continues to compete with Nike and Adidas in penetrating new markets and technologies.
Thus, Puma is delving into NFT projects as well. At New York Fashion Week, Puma launched a 3D metaverse website that features Puma-themed NFT Projects. This 3D website, called Black Station, positions Puma to foster community engagement and open up new revenue streams through the Metaverse. While this is not a partnership with an already established virtual world, Puma is taking the approach of building out its platform.
Fast Fashion / Mid-Range Brands
Fast fashion brands rapidly design, manufacture, and market products to keep up with new trends. These brands tend to use cheaper materials and leverage lower labour costs overseas. While these products are in-demand and have significant revenue, they are periodically criticized for their treatment of foreign workers and for encouraging over-consumption. This list also includes Mid-Range brands which have clothing at a higher price range than fast-fashion brands. However, these brands tend to have similar overseas factories and tend to have other similar practices as well. Here’s a list of four of these brands investing in the Metaverse.
Forever 21 is a fast fashion clothing brand. The brand currently sells accessories, beauty products, and clothing. It is known for its low pricing and new trendy designs. The company started downsizing in 2018 and started reducing its stores. Finally, in 2019, Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy. Now, under a new ownership group that took over in 2020, the retail brand is restructuring its business model.
In restructuring its business, Forever 21 is also expanding to the Metaverse to create an additional revenue stream. The organization had failed to develop a reliable income stream through their e-commerce platforms which caused its revenues to decline and eventually end up in bankruptcy, so the company has taken proactive steps in expanding to the Metaverse. Forever 21 joined other clothing brands like Nike and Tommy Hilfiger to create their own space inside Roblox. This space allows Roblox players to design their products, hire employees, and own their shops inside Forever 21 Smart City.
Tommy Hilfiger is a mid-range clothing brand which sells apparel, furniture, footwear, and accessories. The brand has its own stores but is also present in many departmental stores. Thus, they have a wide range of customers. The brand’s founder, Thomas Jacob Hilfiger, is still the brand’s principal designer and retains creative control.
Tommy Hilfiger has recognized the emergence of virtual spaces inside popular gaming platforms. The brand partnered with Nintendo’s Animal Crossing New Horizons in 2020. Also, the brand has introduced virtual clothing inside Roblox, a popular metaverse-type game.
Boohoo is a newer (and lesser-known) brand compared to other fashion brands on this list. It is a British online retailer aimed at the younger generation. The brand has utilized e-commerce and digital marketing to grow the fast-fashion brand at a rapid rate. Boohoo Group also owns the popular fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing along with various other fashion retail companies.
The brand has utilized e-commerce and is now transitioning into the Metaverse. The brand introduced Boohooverse. To enter Boohooverse, one had to get a 3D NFT created by partnering with creative designer Amy Kilner. These NFTs gave users certain benefits, such as free premier delivery on all boohoo orders for a year. Like all other fast-fashion / mid-range brands on this list, Boohoo has featured in Roblox as they were featured in Paris Hilton’s fashion week inside Roblox.
Ralph Lauren is a clothing company. The company also sells home accessories, jewelry, and fragrances. The brand Ralph Lauren holds several mid-range and sub-premium brands. Unlike Boohoo, the brand has a long legacy as the brand has been present since 1967. However, Ralph Lauren has remained relevant over the years and connected with three generations of consumers.
Ralph Lauren’s CEO Patrice Louvet believes in staying relevant and attracting younger shoppers and thus, the brand should invest in the Metaverse. Thus, like all other brands in the Fast Fashion-Mid Range category, Ralph Lauren is partnering with Roblox. The clothing brand launched a virtual game called Ralph Lauren Winter Escape on Roblox. The brand created gender-neutral collections for avatars on the platform. The brand also sells digital clothing in Zepeto to create an additional revenue stream. With their success in digital clothing in Zepeto and Roblox, NFTs and other digital clothing projects will undoubtedly continue.
Many upscale and sought-after brands are also starting to become a part of the Metaverse. While all the Fast Fashion / Mid-Range brands were a part of Roblox, these brands take unique approaches to maintain their exclusivity and cater to their premium customer base. This list of three luxury brands shows the diversity in their investment strategies to penetrate the Metaverse market.
Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana is an Italian luxury clothing company. The brand also sells handbags, accessories, and cosmetics. The fashion retailer has stayed relevant for decades and continues to grow.
In September 2021, the brand issued its first NFT collection, Collezione Genesi. It was a collection of NFT tokens in collaboration with the digital marketplace UNXD. The project was completed on the Polygon blockchain. In USD, the collection sold for more than 5 million dollars. It was one of the first NFT collections by a luxury fashion brand and paved the way for others to join.
Balenciaga has been a luxury fashion house present for more than 100 years. The brand is continued to stay relevant with innovations and appeals to luxury shoppers. The brand has a substantial online presence and continues to hire pop culture icons to promote its brand. The brand also partners with famous designers like Alexander Wang to create new fashion lines.
Balenciaga has taken a unique approach to entering the Metaverse. The fashion brand did not launch an NFT collection or a virtual space. Instead, Balenciaga released skins for the popular multiplayer game called Fortnite. Epic Games, the developers of Fornite, are very pro-metaverse and continue to position their company toward building the next generation of gaming. While this was a unique approach, partnering with one of the most prominent Metaverse companies can be a great growth strategy for Balenciaga.
Burberry is the oldest luxury fashion brand on this list. The luxury fashion house has been around for more than 150 years. The brand sells ready-to-wear clothing, leather accessories, and footwear. The brand has continued to gain prominence. The brand’s most significant rise to prominence was during the 1970s and 1980s, as the brand aligned itself as a luxury retailer and made changes among its executives to see out this vision. The Burberry check is a well-known design often seen on Burberry products.
Burberry was among the first brands to launch NFTs in China. The brand sold over 1000 NFTs during China’s e-commerce festival called Double 11. The company has continued to expand into the Metaverse by launching a virtual bag collection in Roblox.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (also known as LVMH) is an interesting case study to learn how multinational fashion brands are diving into the Metaverse. LVMH is a well-known luxury goods company. The brand’s list of companies is vast as it owns famous brands such as TAG Heuer, Tiffany & Co., and Marc Jacobs. LVMH recognizes the growth potential of the Metaverse. The brand’s CEO told his shareholders the brand is looking closely into the Metaverse but is not rushing. As a brand, LVMH has created its virtual character, the company’s first “brand ambassador” in the Metaverse. We’ll look into four brands under the LVMH umbrella investing in the Metaverse.
Louis Vuitton is a luxury fashion brand which sells apparel, jewelry, watches, and leather products. The company’s LV monogram is a well-known symbol. The brand has stand-alone stores and is also present in other luxury departmental stores. The brand also has a significant online presence with its e-commerce platforms.
The luxury brand took an unconventional approach to the Metaverse, launching Louis: The Game in 2021. It was a bold decision to launch its own NFT game rather than partner with other popular Web3 brands. The digital artist, Beeple designed Louis Vuttion’s NFTs.
Givenchy is a French luxury brand well-known for clothing, cosmetics, and perfumes. The 70-year-old brand is a part of LVMH. The company has continued to hire famous designers for its products and has maintained a prominent online presence.
Givenchy launched a beauty house in Roblox. The virtual space in Roblox features a castle. The brand has also launched its NFT collection on the polygon blockchain. The brand launched 15 NFTs and consulted Aura blockchain to create this NFT project.
JW Anderson is a British fashion label under the LVMH umbrella. This is a relatively newer brand in the LVMH company, as it was founded in 2008. LVMH has a minority stake in the company, and the brand continues to build its popularity. The founder, Jonathan Anderson, has gained popularity and has won several awards for their clothing designs.
The brand announced its first NFT in December 2021, selling a digital copy of a sweater worn by artist Harry Styles. This sweater is currently a part of the British Art Museum. While JW has not delved much deeper into the Metaverse, creating a digital piece to go with a real-life piece can become an essential aspect of the Metaverse, as buyers will want their digital avatars to wear the same products as their IRL pieces.
Dior is a luxury fashion retailer popular for its clothing, cosmetics, and jewellery. The brand has continued to grow over the years and is now controlled and chaired by Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH.
Like other LVMH clothing brands, Dior has ventured into the Metaverse. The clothing company partnered with Ready Player Me, an avatar platform, to create digital avatars. These digital avatars allowed owners to purchase Dior Fragrances.
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