How soon will you be waking up every morning and picking out an outfit for your avatar before heading out in your virtual car? Sooner than you may think. According to Krista Kim, the contemporary artist behind the world’s first NFT digital house, “we will be living in an augmented reality lifestyle within a very short period.”
Sep 13, 2021
Is direct-to-avatar (D2A) the next big business model?
Fashion brands are already starting to release direct-to-avatar (D2A) digital collections. Ralph Lauren released a 50-piece digital clothing collection in August 2021, available for purchase in social networking app Zepeto. American Eagle announced a digital clothing collection for Bitmoji avatars in July 2021. Gucci and The North Face released a joint collection for avatars on Pokémon Go in January 2021. In March 2021 Gucci released virtual sneakers that can only be worn with AR, using technology developed by Wanna. And digital fashion house The Fabricant has partnered with brands like Adidas, Puma and Tommy Hilfiger to virtualize their garments.
New brands dedicated to designing and selling digital-only fashion are coming to the fore. “Contactless cyber fashion” specialist Tribute Brand launched in 2020 with limited-edition digital clothing drops and custom orders. Luxury fashion house Auroboros released a digital-only couture collection in January 2021 on Drest, a styling app and fashion game. And Digital fashion house DressX raised $2 million in funding in July 2021 to expand its reach with an NFT marketplace.
Luxury auto brands are also releasing virtual versions of their vehicles. Maserati, Aston Martin and Tesla have launched virtual models of their cars in Tencent’s Game for Peace—the Chinese mobile version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds—between 2020 and 2021. And Rolls-Royce unveiled its first virtual car in 2020 for QQ Speed, another Tencent mobile game.
The future of consumerism lies in virtual products, Kerry Murphy, founder and CEO of digital fashion house The Fabricant, predicts. “People are going to start seeing value in digital items,” Murphy tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence,” and realize that they’d rather interact with a digital item, or have an infinite wardrobe of digital fashion items but a very limited wardrobe of physical items.”
As digital ownership rises, “realworld brands” need to realize that “the metaverse is a place of mass audiences, where there’s a true opportunity for brand integration, for brand expansion, and for brand expression,” Lindsay Anne Aamodt, senior director of marketing at IMVU—organizer of the first fashion show held in the metaverse—told Vogue.
For more, download our report: “Into the Metaverse.".
Main image courtesy of The Fabricant x Puma