The Rise Of The Metaverse Fashion: A Look At Its Growth And Key Players
According to MarketsandMarkets.com, in 2022 the Metaverse economy made a huge impact pulling in $61.8 Billion. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, because by all because according to the same report the market is projected to grow to the tune of $467 Billion by the year 2027. This amounts to almost a 50% growth rate year-over-year, there is no shortage of companies from every industry trying to, “get in where they fit in.”
For some, that means taking legacy brands, products, and services and pivoting so that they have utility in these new virtual realms of business and commerce. For others, like digital fashion brands The Fabricant, RTFAK, DressX new to the scene with most being around less than three years, it means an opportunity to innovate and become a leader in an age-old industry and going from zero-to-hero in no time flat.
These companies specialize in digital and virtual fashion, making digital swag and wearable for avatars, digital twins, gamers, and Metaverse enthusiasts who seek adventure, entertainment, and connection in virtual worlds like Roblox, The Sandbox, CryptoVoxels, DecentraLand, Somnium Space, Upland, and OVR.
Some of the companies first to market and first to capitalize on this burgeoning new economy have been able to position themselves in a way that now they are leading the way and even partnering with legacy brands seeking to enter the space.
Notable Collaborations Include:
The Fabricant and World Of Women
The Fabricant and World of Women (WOW): The Fabricant partnered with popular NFT project World of Women to create 27 different looks, each with different outfits, hair, and ethnicities. WOW is an NFT project created by artist Yam Karkai consisting of 10,000 generative art PFPs with 200 hand-drawn traits. The project launched in 2021 on the NFT marketplace OpenSea with the mission of creating a Web3 environment that encouraged more women creators as well as patrons to get involved. The project grew wildly and is now considered a “blue chip” NFT with a current floor price of 1.67 ETH ($2,800 USD).
The Fabricant and Buffalo Londo
The Fabricant also partnered with shoe brand Buffalo Londo to create the flaming virtual trainer, a digital version of its popular IRL (in real life) show adorned with signature bright flames. The Fabricant also partnered with shoe brand Buffalo Londo to create the flaming virtual trainer, a digital version of its popular IRL (in real life) show adorned with signature bright flames and in April of 2022, the company secured $14 million in a Series A funding round. Investors include Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, Red DAO, and Koji Capital.
Gucci and Roblox
In May of 2021, Gucci launched its first foray into the metaverse by partnering with Roblox a popular gaming platform, to create the Gucci Garden. The two-week virtual activation was inspired by Gucci’s, IRL (In-real-life) Florence show that was held to commemorate the brand’s 100th anniversary. Originally the virtual digital Gucci fashion items sold for between $1.20 to $9 (USD). However, because of the rarity of the items they quickly became a hot commodity with the re-sale of one Gucci Dionysus bag selling for $350,000 Robux which at the time of purchase was the equivalent of $4,115 (USD).
A Gucci bag in Roblox resold for 350,000 Robux or roughly $4,115. The same purse IRL costs $3,400.— AlexisOhanian (@alexisohanian) May 24, 2021
Remember: this Roblox purse is not an NFT and thus has no value/use/transferability outside the Roblox world-yet it's worth more than the physical one.
Watch this space. pic.twitter.com/m4WjfC1Eq1
Buzz of the digital replica selling for more than the cost of the actual IRL item which retails for roughly $3,400 spread quickly. This may have been the catalyst for the onslaught of other Luxury bands, not-to-be-outdone, race to make their marks in the brave new world of digital fashion, and in May of 2022, Gucci has since opened a permanent space host on Roblox called Gucci Town.
Ralph Lauren and Roblox
Another Roblox partnership featured the designer Ralph Lauren, a winter wonderland theme with gender-neutral sportswear collections. Within the Experience called Winter Escape. Players of the game could partake in virtual ice skating, and prepare hot drinks in Ralph’s Coffee House, among other things.
Belenciaga and Epic Games
Another wildly popular collaboration married Balenciaga and Epic Games, the developers of Fortnite, to incorruption their brand into wearables for the Fortnite community.
DressX and Jason Wu
DressX and Fashion Designer Jason Wu teamed up to release Wu’s first ever NFT, which featured the digital twin of the dress he designed for First Lady Michelle Obama for the 2009 Inaugural Ball. The winner of the auction also received a ticket to Wu’s New York fashion show. Plus, DressX also partnered with Roblox for a total of 12 items allowing users to mix and match layered digital fashion and styles. DressX Investors include Warner Music Group and TLF Ventures.
In addition, probably the most popular as well as most infamous NFT Project and now full-fledged brand, The Bored Yacht Club, the NFT Whale GMoney (whale refers to someone with a large portfolio of crypto assets), and Punks Comics, in December of 2021 partnered with Adidas Originals, to launch the Adidas genesis project Adidas’ Into The Metaverse NFT, which minted a whopping $22 million in just one afternoon. The 30,000-piece collection was sold on the NFT Marketplace OpenSea.io, minted for 0.2 ETH (approximately $765 at the time of mint), with a total of 29,620 for sale and 380 held for future events. The re-sale of those items in the aftermarket over the next three days would reach a volume of $43 Million.
December 17th was mint day for the highly anticipated Adidas’ Into the Metaverse NFT collection which sold out all 30,000 at 0.2ETH in a matter of hours. This price for the NFT was calculated at approximately $765 at the time of release, based on the price of ETH at the time of mint. A total of 29,620 NFTs were sold on the NFT exchange OpenSea.io and 380 were held for future events. When it was all said and done, Adidas profited roughly $22,000,000 in one afternoon.
Finally, there is the Nike acquisition of RTFKT (pronounced Artifact) a virtual sneaker design house among whom investors include Andreessen Horowitz. Commenting about the acquisition which happened in December of 2021, Nike’s CEO and President John Donahoe, had this to say.
In conclusion, the metaverse economy is growing rapidly and provides a new and exciting opportunity for innovation in the digital fashion industry. Companies that specialize in digital and virtual fashion are leading the way and partnering with legacy brands, which is resulting in notable collaborations and partnerships. The potential for growth and revenue in this market is significant and is attracting investment from influential figures in the industry.