The fashion industry is also nervous about neglecting a community of future consumers. Typically, brands ignore customers outside their highly prescribed comfort zone until they are unable to—until, in other words, it’s convenient and profitable to engage with new potential customers. For now, the major appeal of the metaverse is the way it enables fantasy—a word that fashion designers might be keen to embrace at this moment. More than ever, runway fashion is a conceptual, unattainable dream, the aura of which is used to push consumers towards logo hoodies, T-shirts, handbags,and sneakers. But the metaverse makes the possibility of selling their more ridiculous creations much more real, even if in digital form.
In fact, so advanced in their convergence of fashion and tech are these creators that they were woefully under-impressed with Zuckerberg’s fashion fantasia, which showed the much-maligned tech titan flipping through a paltry selection of looks to highlight how the metaverse allows users to create—and dress—a digital avatar. “It was very standard,” says Benoit Pagotto, an RTFKT cofounder. “It was like hoodies, T-shirts, a Halloween costume,” he says, adding that it was “fine for the demo.”
H&M now has a metaverse store to let you buy clothes in a virtual world. H&M fans can now elevate their shopping experience by shopping for clothes from the brand’s store in a virtual world. Here is how it works and what it means for both H&M and metaverse fans. The Swedish fashion clothing firm seems to have opened a new virtual store in the metaverse CEEK city. With this, it aims to offer a buying experience to its customers exploring the virtual reality (VR) environments of CEEK.
H&M fans will be able to walk through its new store in the metaverse. They can choose the product of their liking and even purchase it in the CEEK City metaverse. Of course, these will be digital-only clothes meant for the players’ avatars and will have nothing to do with real life, at least for now.
That last part was added to indicate that the company may eventually plan to extend the functionality to real life. With this, H&M customers might be able to buy clothing items from the metaverse store and collect it from the physical stores in real life for real-life use.
Customers will be able to explore this H&M store in CEEK city and buy the outfits of their choice through CEEK tokens. The VR-based token is based on Etherum smart contracts and currently retails for $0.7107
H&M’s entry into CEEK city is a one-of-a-kind endeavour for now, but that definitely won’t be the case for long. As metaverse grows in popularity, more and more celebrities and brands are attempting to associate themselves with the concept. Last month, Nike made its attempt at the same, by buying a virtual shoe company that makes NFTs and sneakers.
But lets look at the overall growth in terms of “The ripple effect of digital land with renting opportunities, retail opportunities that grows the fashion establishments”
Tokens.com has bought land in Decentraland at a price of $2.5 million. It sees the metaverse as a multi-trillion dollar opportunity and wants to bring fashion brands to its land.
It’s still very early days, and footfall in the various metaverses such as Decentraland is still fairly low. However, institutions are starting to see the future opportunities, and land grabs are being made now in anticipation for what these virtual worlds will one day become.
Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Trust.com, which bought the 116 parcel estate in the fashion district of Decentraland mentioned :
“If you can imagine the metaverse as a monopoly board, and rather than have just 28 parcels of land and 8 players, there are many more parcels of land that you can develop, and potentially millions and millions of users that you can collect rent from, and create immersive experiences for.”
On a recent interview on CNBC he admits that the current traffic in Decentraland is low and that things are in development. However, he says that in March next year, his company will team up with Decentraland in order to launch a fashion week that he hopes will attract all the biggest fashion brands from across the world.
His vision for the week is of virtual runways in virtual fashion shows that will display the virtual gear that can be worn by user avatars. He cites the brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Nike, and Adidas, who are all already entering the metaverse and who are selling their products as NFT skins that any virtual avatar would want to be seen in.
The CEO says that the purchase of metaverse land is a “pre purchase of advertising space” that will pay off massively as the billions of visitors that were predicted by Mark Zuckerberg start to enter the space.
He says that each of the 116 parcels of land that his company owns, equates to a space 52ft x 52ft in the real world. So multiplied by 116 it can be seen that this is a gigantic amount of space that will be developed to host events such as fashion shows, which he is predicting will attract as many as 300,000 to 400,000 unique visitors over the week of the event.
To end off, I personally feel that this new digital frontier that Silicon Valley can’t stop talking about—and that the fashion world seems equally obsessed by. From Balenciaga to the witty emerging British upstart Stefan Cooke, it seems every fashion house wants to (literally) enter the space. What’s more, Silicon Valley has also been quick to embrace fashion as a cornerstone of its flashy new development: much ado was made of Mark Zuckerberg’s avatar swapping through wardrobe possibilities in the metaverse demo video that his company released in late October to announce their rebrand as “Meta.” All of which is turning two industries that have struggled to connect in a genuine way into unusually zealous collaborators. Still, something that I am reflecting on is that, if there’s no physical object, what is it that consumers are buying? And how effective will traditional fashion marketing be in convincing audiences to shell out for digital goods? Are we really living in the NFT culture? But I do agree that this whole crypto blockchain development is made possible with so many different technologies. And while the metaverse can be experienced in virtual spaces, as what’s typically called “virtual reality,” that’s not the only way we’ll experience it.