Decentraland, an online gaming platform that is accessible only via laptops or desktops, hosted its second annual Metaverse Fashion Week in March. Some of the notable brands that took part in the virtual experience were Tommy Hilfiger (under PVH).
), DKNY, Adidas
Dolce & Gabbana, and others.
MarketWatch reported that this year’s event attracted just 26,000 unique active visitors. This is a stark contrast to last year when it attracted over 100,000 people. Despite the low turnout, and the larger layoffs within metaverse divisions of large corporations like Disney, the event saw a significant increase in users.
Fashion companies continue to embrace the so-called metaverse.
Gucci is an example of a French conglomerate Kering, and it operates this month.
Yuga Labs, responsible for the non-fungible token collection Bored Ape Yacht Club (which featured 10,000 cartoon apes) announced their partnership. Yuga Labs and Gucci are working together to release a limited-edition series of physical Gucci products that are associated to non-fungible tokens tied to Yuga Labs’ long-awaited ape-themed metaverse game called Otherside. Gucci has a whole team that is dedicated to metaverse initiatives.
Meta, which recently laidoff 10,000 employees, has also formed partnerships with digital fashion houses, such as DressX, to sell virtual clothes to the avatars Instagram and Facebook are pushing to users.
The main reason fashion companies haven’t backed away from the metaverse when other companies have is because they’re making money in it, and there is the opportunity to tap into a younger audience which is increasingly spending their time in gaming over other forms of entertainment.
“The [Otherside] platform registered an impressive $222 million in trading volume in Q1, a remarkable 237.34% increase from the previous quarter,” said DappRadar’s blockchain analyst Sara Gherghelas.
“Furthermore, Yuga Labs has also been dominating the NFT fashion industry. The NFT fashion collection trading volume was $15,314,672 in Q1 2023 […] With this new partnership with Gucci, Yuga Labs is set to take its dominance in the NFT fashion industry to new heights.”
Users spent approximately $26,000 on wearable skins at fashion companies during the Metaverse Fashion Week. They also claimed 76,000 wearables, which are virtual items that you can use to dress your avatar.
These numbers aren’t significant when compared to the billions that these fashion brands bring in every year, but still indicative of the potential that virtual worlds hold for tapping into younger audiences.
“Tommy Hilfiger shared that they had four times the retention in their activation compared to last year’s MVFW,” said Gigi Graziosi Casimiro, head of the Metaverse Fashion Week, in an email. “Although attendee numbers were down, we had tens of thousands of new visitors to the metaverse. For the second ever Metaverse Fashion Week, we believe that we improved upon the experience from last year, and are still in the early days of metaversal fashion.”
One of the main reasons metaverse fashion sells so well is because around half of Gen Z users surveyed by gaming platform Roblox said that dressing up their avatars on virtual platforms allows them to express their individuality and feel good about themselves, according to Roblox’s latest Metaverse Fashion Report.
With the gaming industry fast growing, and exceeding $300 billion in value, the digital fashion houses moving into this space aren’t going away anytime soon. People who work to create metaverse fashion designs believe the recent dip in enthusiasm is temporary.
“When I got my first job at Accenture in the late ’90s, we were building websites for every company…and then we had the huge bubble burst in 2001 and it really took down the market,” said Katherine Manuel, chief operating officer at House of Blueberry, a fashion brand that makes clothes for platforms like Second Life, Roblox, and The Sims. “And what was interesting is that back then there was also this idea of…is the internet dead? Does this mean no one can have e-commerce that’s profitable? I believe so. [what we see with the metaverse] is just a natural correction.”
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