By Anushree David
Despite the fact that there was not much attendance at the second annual Metaverse Fashion Week in February, the fashion industry still embraces virtual worlds.
Decentraland, an online gaming platform accessible only via laptops or desktops, hosted its second annual Metaverse Fashion Week in March. Notable brands that participated in the virtual experience included big name fashion companies like Tommy Hilfiger (under PVH (PVH)), DKNY, Adidas , Dolce & Gabbana, and others.
MarketWatch reports that the event only attracted 26,000 unique users this year. That’s a significant drop from last year when it attracted over 100,000 people. Despite the lower turn out and larger layoffs in the metaverse divisions of large companies such as Meta (META) and Disney (DIS), fashion companies continue to embrace the so-called Metaverse.
Gucci, a French conglomerate, has announced its partnership with Yuga Labs. This is Yuga Labs’ company behind the non-fungible token collector Bored Ape Yacht Club. It features 10,000 cartoon apes and received a lot of attention in 2022. Yuga Labs is collaborating with Gucci to create a limited-edition line of Gucci products that are tied to Yuga Labs long-awaited metaverse game, Otherside. Gucci has an entire team dedicated specifically to metaverse initiatives.
Meta, which has recently laid off 10,000 workers, also has partnerships with digital fashion houses such as DressX to sell virtual clothing for the avatars that Instagram, Facebook, and others have been pushing.
Fashion companies have not abandoned the world of the metaverse as other companies have. That’s because they make money from it and can tap into a younger audience that is more inclined to spend their time gaming than other forms.
“The [Otherside] “The platform recorded a staggering $222 million in trading volume Q1 which was a remarkable 237.34% increase over the previous quarter,” Sara Gherghelas (DappRadar blockchain analyst) said.
“Yuga Labs also dominates the NFT fashion market. In Q1 2023, fashion collections saw a $15,314,672 increase in NFT trading volume. […] Yuga Labs has partnered with Gucci to expand its position in the NFT fashion market.
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.
Although these numbers aren’t as significant as the billions of dollars that fashion brands make each year, they still show the potential for virtual worlds to tap into younger audiences.
“Tommy Hilfiger stated that they had four times more retention than last year’s MVFW,” Gigi Graziosi Cassimiro, head for the Metaverse Fashion Week, said in an email. “Although attendance was down, we still had tens to thousands of new people visiting the metaverse. For the second Metaverse Fashion Week, we feel that we have improved on last year’s experience and are still at the beginning of metaversal fashion.
According to Roblox’s most recent Metaverse Fashion Report, half of Gen Z respondents to Roblox’s survey said that metaverse fashion allows them to express themselves and feel good about their bodies.
The gaming industry is growing rapidly and has surpassed $300 billion in value. Digital fashion houses are not going anywhere soon. People who work to create metaverse fashion designs believe the recent dip in enthusiasm is temporary.
“When I started my job at Accenture in late ’90s we were building websites for all companies…and then we had the big bubble burst 2001 which really took down market,” Katherine Manuel, chief operating officers at House of Blueberry, a fashion company that creates clothes for platforms like Roblox, Second Life, and The Sims. It was fascinating to note that there was back then a notion of “is the internet dead?” Does this mean that no one can have profitable ecommerce? I believe so. [what we see with the metaverse] “It is only a natural correction.”
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