The luxury industry is committed not to repeating the same mistake. When the ecommerce revolution began in the late 1990s, it was usually viewed with scepticism. Before scrambling to catch up with the rest of the retail sector, most luxury businesses waited many years to appreciate its potential.
Bain & Company’s periodic worldwide studies of the personal luxury goods segment have documented the growing relevance of ecommerce. According to their findings, the share of online sales more than tripled from 7% in 2017 to roughly 22% in a pandemic-affected 2021.
Most luxury companies are keen not to be left behind by the newest online innovations. They are investing in the burgeoning momentum of the web3, metaverse, and NFTs.
Opportunities for Luxury Brands in Web3
Luxury brands and NFTs make strange bedfellows. But, interestingly, high-end fashion has embraced NFTs more swiftly and passionately than other sectors, and there seems to be an acceptance that Web3 will likely play a significant part in its future.
It makes a lot of sense. Both high-fashion and NFTs operate on notions of exclusivity and scarcity, which may help explain the industry’s receptivity to web3 tools in contrast to other conventional companies that have just hesitantly started to dip their toes in Web3.
The importance of luxury companies making use of this new arena is more than simply famous brands attempting new ideas. The approach these brands take in transitioning to blockchain-based technology while capitalising on their dedicated fan bases is a blueprint that everyone considering a move into Web3 should learn from.
Furthermore, the metaverse provides chances for brands to experiment and broaden their horizons previously beyond reach.
Luxury companies can now redefine their narratives and bring virtual experiences to life while leveraging their legacy in the real world.
With the expanding importance of the digital world, it is not unreasonable to expect individuals to spend a significant portion of their social life on digital platforms. Herein lies the opportunity for marketers to harness this interested audience with compelling content/products online and capitalise on this to generate brand loyalty.
How Luxury Brands are Capitalising on the Web3 Revolution?
Luxury companies are benefiting from blockchain technology in less glitzy but as significant respects. A crucial challenge for luxury brands, however, is to reproduce the same excitement in the virtual world that customers would feel if they walked into a Mayfair or Knightsbridge storefront.
Meanwhile, numerous luxury companies are already researching the web3 arena. In addition, they have launched several projects and efforts to strengthen their digital presence.
Gucci is no stranger to the world of web3. In May 2021, the company made its maiden step into the area by presenting an NFT film inspired by its Aria fashion line as part of Christie’s famed Proof of Sovereignty auction organised by Lady Phoenix.
Gucci’s second NFT collaboration was with vinyl toy artist Superplastic for a 10,000-piece NFT drop dubbed SUPER GUCCI on January 18, 2022.
SUPER GUCCI is a three-part limited edition NFT series. Owners of the NFTs in the collection may unlock hand-crafted, eight-inch tall white ceramic sculptures to go with their digital equivalents.
In March 2022, Gucci released the 10KTF: Gucci Grail Mint Pass line. Wagmi-san collaborated with Michele to develop personalised digital picture of proof (PFP) outfits based on 11 of the NFT community’s most notable creations for the project.
Only individuals who possessed a PFP from one of these collections were eligible for the project’s Mint Pass, which could be burnt to get a customised NFT designed by Michele and constructed by Wagmi-san.
Louis Vuitton collaborated with digital art pioneer Beeple to produce the brand’s first NFT game. On April 8, 2021, « Louis: The Game » was launched to mark the 200th birthday of Louis Vuitton’s founder.
The game has 30 NFTs, and players have to follow the Louis Vuitton mascot, Vivienne, on her quest to find 200 valuable candles. While gamers can accumulate NFTs, they are unable to resell them. The game is accessible on both the Google Play and Apple app stores.
Blankos Block Party is an NFT-based game with a unique Burberry character dubbed « Sharky B. » Sharky B can wear various in-game Burberry NFT accessories such as jetpacks, armbands, and pool shoes.
Other characters in the game can also wear the Burberry accessories. This game, created by Mythical Games, is available for Mac and PCs.
Selfridges stated in January 2022 that it would offer NFTs and digital fashion in its Oxford Street store in London, with prices ranging from £2,000 to more than £100,000.
Fine jewellery brand Yvel released INFS (independent, non-fungible securities) on June 13, 2022, the name of the company’s NFT-adjacent asset and its new securities trading platform.
As a result, the company adopted a somewhat different approach to the NFT space, building digital assets that function as non-fungible financial instruments.
These NFT-like tokens are backed by a $10,000 24-karat gold coin studded with diamonds and other precious stones as a physical guarantee.
Metaverse Fashion Week
As incredible as it may seem, digital fashion has progressed so far that it now needs its own fashion week, replete with all it involves: from runway shows and new collection presentations to public speeches and parties with professional DJs.
Decentraland, a decentralised virtual social network based on the Ethereum blockchain, hosted the first-ever digital fashion week from March 23 to 27.
While many fashion brands are viewed as traditionalists, several prominent names took a significant risk this season and participated in Metaverse Fashion Week. Of course, not in place of their actual runways, but as an extra touch-point to reach a new audience.
Over four days, 50 brands of various sizes unveiled virtual collections in Decentraland’s new ‘Luxury Fashion District,’ which is believed to be modelled after Paris’ famed Avenue Montaigne.
Some of the most prominent names to enter the metaverse were Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Elie Saab, Roberto Cavalli, Coach, and Etro, as well as digital-first, rising businesses like The Fabricant and CSM’s Scarlett Yang. Chanel and Lanvin screened films at the digital cinema. Meanwhile, Estée Lauder was the only beauty company that participated.
The Road Ahead
We are now seeing a few large companies building walled-off virtual goods labelled as « metaverse » but deliberately restricted to pre-existing metaphysical and business parameters. While Web3’s capabilities have merely scratched the surface, the burgeoning reality of Web3 is already ahead of our present reality.
Player One Labs is there to facilitate your brands’ transition into the realm of Web3. Have a question? Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org