The concept of the metaverse is still nascent. However, it harbours immense potential for the fashion industry in this digital revolution. Moreover, the freedom and flexibility of WEB3 allows fashion vendors of any size to break into the virtual world and take advantage of its vast opportunities.
Metaverse has as much to offer to small fashion retailers as it does to big brands. Authenticity, rather than notability, will be one of the defining factors of success.
In this brief overview, we share what some of the luxury industry leaders did to meet their youngest customers’ emerging needs.
How will NFTs and virtual gaming play a role in the future of shopping?
The world’s largest fashion houses have already started dipping their toes into the uncharted waters of the metaverse. Last year, the Italian fashion house Gucci released a digital-only bag, which was sold for a much higher price than its real-life equivalent.
Louis Vuitton, the French luxury brand, has taken one step further by launching an NFT-embedded mobile application “Louis the Game.” This year the brand is investing further, having added new NFTs and quests for players to discover.
However, the prospects of new-age fashion are not reserved only for the ‘best and biggest.’ Indrė Viltrakytė, the co-founder of the Rebels, has emphasized authenticity and transparency as the defining factors of successful meta-based projects.
Advising emerging talents’ entry to the metaverse
According to Viltrakytė, an independent designer or a fashion brand must produce anywhere from 2 to 16 collections a year. This can be extremely financially challenging for a smaller business that is still in its early stage of development.
“Turning your clothes into NFTs and selling them through blockchain-powered fashion marketplaces is much more accessible and affordable, especially if you are a digitally native brand. Also, an authentic origin story could help emerging talents to establish a strong presence without the need for paid ads,” shared Viltrakytė.
She also noted that Gen Z’ers, who are one of the main metaverse audiences,’ value originality and sustainability above all. These boutique brands can channel such values much better than their huge conglomerate counterparts.
Breaking in as a non-tech business
Although certain tech knowledge is a must-have in this future, the culture and agility with which a business immerses itself into the space is far more important.
“It all boils down to ‘learning by doing,’ whether it is selling digital collections, creating a first virtual fashion show, or listing an NFT collection,” said the fashion expert.
Decentraland, Roblox, and other metaverses are quickly positioning themselves as a prospective new channel in order to market brands. As early adopters could make use of the first-mover advantage.
A new generation of consumers seek innovative ways to express their identity and loyalty to a fashion brand. These emerging consumer behaviours place fashion leaders in front of a new challenge to include digital, sustainable, and aesthetic factors equally when strategizing for the future. Digital fashion might be a natural extension of social media and immersive shopping, but will this virtual trend survive long enough to benefit brands?