Scandinavian fashion brands Rotate and Remain released an exclusive collaboration on Monday with metaverse platform Ifland. Launched in July 2021 by SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest mobile provider, Ifland has 12.8 million users.
Sister brands Rotate and Remain, both spinoffs of the 150-year-old Birger Christensen brand, are leveraging the metaverse for brand awareness. Ifland expanded to 49 countries, including European markets, in November 2022. It’s is now the second-largest Korean metaverse platform behind Zepeto, and its app is accessible through the iPhone app store and Google Play. The collaboration comprises 20 free digital fashion items, including dresses, tops and bottoms exclusively created for the platform — more styles will be released throughout the year. Rotate and Remain are Ifland’s first fashion partners outside of Korea.
“The collaboration was inspired by a trip to Seoul in 2022, which was organized by the Danish national Lifestyle & Design Cluster, a group focused on sustainability,” said Denise Christensen, CEO of Birger Christensen Collective, which owns Rotate and Remain. “The aim was to digitize and transform the Danish lifestyle industry toward a more circular economy.”
Danish fashion brands have been slow to jump on digital fashion. However, many European digital fashion retailers, like Dress X and The Dematerialised, are world leaders in the space and share Danish brands’ sustainability objectives. Dress X has become the biggest platform for AR fashion from brands, apart from Snap, and has launched collections for Dundas. Meanwhile, The Dematerialised has worked with high-end fashion brands like Karl Lagerfeld and Rotate for product launches.
As part of Copenhagen Fashion Week, in Nov. 2022, Rotate partnered with The Dematerialised on a phygital NFT featuring its Theresa dress with added flame animations. It also gave users the option to try-on the item through AR after the catwalk. “The limited-edition phygital NFT sold for €800 [$866] within minutes, suggesting that digital fashion can be a viable revenue stream — but that’s not to say that tangible garments will be replaced,” said Christensen.
She added, “The partnership with SK Telecom is a unique opportunity for Birger Christensen [brands] to be the first Danish fashion movers in the metaverse and strengthen our communication within the web3 sphere globally.”
Rotate is available in more than 40 countries worldwide and is stocked at retailers including Net-a-Porter, Selfridges, Browns Fashion and MyTheresa. Remain is available in more than 120 stores across 35 countries, including Ssense, Browns, Net-a-Porter and Selfridges.
With its global digital presence, Ifland will allow Rotate to trial demand for the brand in new markets, at a significantly lower cost than opening stores. The company declined to share its investment in the metaverse activation. South Korea and its businesses have been big supporters of the metaverse. The Ministry of Science and Information and Communications Technology has said it plans to spend at least $186 million to create a metaverse ecosystem for South Korea. And the Seoul Metropolitan Government wanted to build Metaverse Seoul by 2023.
In SK Telecom’s third-quarter 2022 earnings, Yoon Jae-woong, head of the subscription and marketing office at SK Telecom, said 70% of Ifland’s users are in their 20s. “More than 48% of the subscriptions are being done through online channels, which shows that these metaverse services are appealing to the younger generation that are able to utilize online services,” he said. He also said that the company will leverage its K-Pop connections for IP collaborations in the virtual word, similarly to BNV and Weinsanto last September.
For fashion, the growth of these international metaverse platforms means more opportunities for market penetration. Zepeto, the largest Korean metaverse platform, with 15 million to 20 million active global monthly users, has a licensing model for fashion partnerships with brands like Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Nike. It’s also popular in Brazil. For its part, in addition to South Korea, Ifland attracts fashion fans in the U.S. and Brazil.
“As a native web3 company, the collaboration with SK Telecom allowed us to hit the ground running, propelling us into the cyberspace of technology, as metaverse development transcends the physical fashion ecosystem we know so well,” said Christensen.