The metaverse is defined as the future of the internet, a shared 3D virtual universe that users can exist in perpetually. Platforms for social interaction like Roblox, Decentraland and The Sandbox have become more popular among Gen-Z users. And the introduction of wearables like the Meta Quest 2 headset mean that virtual environments can now be built with more advanced hardware and expanded capabilities.
As a result, the metaverse is becoming a significant area for brands to invest in now, in preparation for the future.
Glossy is examining how different “metaverses” will have varying characteristics and communities, and how they will be key points of engagement for brands as people’s online reality shifts. According to Gucci, it’s “only a matter of time” before other major fashion houses get into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other aspects of digital fashion. Gucci, one of the earliest metaverse adopters, has already launched augmented reality sneakers and the Gucci Garden experience in Roblox. Brands across industries, including sports, beauty, art and fashion, are investing in metaverse experiences for their customers, focusing on bringing in a unique and authentic take on digital worlds.
In addition, many brands have started compiling digital copies of their garments to create digital garment repositories they can later use in the metaverse. Nike, for example, is creating dedicated spaces for selling its digital fashion within the virtual environment Nikeland in the gaming platform Roblox to engage users.
According to a March 2022 report on digital fashion conducted by the Institute of Digital Fashion and Vice’s digital agency Virtue Worldwide, 76% of 3,000 global respondents are willing or are actively planning to engage with a metaverse-related brand or platform in the next 12 months.
With fashion brands like Rebecca Minkoff and retailers like U.K.-based Selfridges already creating NFT collections and appearing in digital worlds like Decentraland, consumer engagement is on the rise. Decentraland currently has 300,000 monthly active users.