After debuting its first-ever collection at NYFW last September, Alo Yoga is now rolling out its corresponding NFTs that grant access to an exclusive circle brimming with benefits. The distribution marks the beginning of the label’s virtual version of its IRL loyalty program, which will see those who own a token receive a multitude of perks and member rewards.
As for China, big names have stepped away from the limelight — allowing startups to shine. Handbag label Kunogigi, for one, has got young mainlanders talking thanks to the virtual marketing for its online universe “Gulang Tea House.” The spending potential of this demographic cannot be understated. If you want to maintain your position in China, there’s never been a more critical time to tap the rising power of Gen Z.
By Far is also back with a new metaverse project. This time around, the European label has teamed up with UnionPay to bring both online and offline benefits to its audience. After securing its status as an instant hit across the west, is the brand gearing up to be a top player in the Chinaverse too?
Louis Vuitton Utilizes Snap’s AR Function To Decorate Global Landmarks In Yayoi Kusama’s Iconic Dots
What Happened: As part of the brand’s viral collaboration with artist Yayoi Kusama, Louis Vuitton is adorning some of the globe’s most notable landmarks — including the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and London’s Tower Bridge — in the creative’s iconic painted dots using augmented reality. Looking through Snap’s Landmarker Lenses, users can watch as the monuments come to life in Kusama’s colorful dot details. The feature is part of the label’s attempt to extend creativity “through a new technology playground,” demonstrating the impact AR technology can bring to new projects in luxury.
The Verdict: The wide-scale collaboration is pulling out all the stops when it comes to making a global impact. Following its giant Yayoi Kusama sculptures, which scaled iconic department stores such as Paris’ Galeries Lafayette, the partnership has turned its attention to tapping the current zeitgeist of immersive, digitized experiences to heighten its exposure. With many consumers still reticent when it comes to the concept of the “metaverse,” is AR set to become the most popular — and palatable — stepping stone into Web3 for luxury consumers?
By Far Launches Digital Collectibles In Partnership With China’s UnionPay
What Happened: Bulgarian accessories brand By Far is back in the Chinaverse following its first-ever NFT drop last year for the Qixi festival. This label has now collaborated with UnionPay to release a limited-edition launch of space-themed digital collectibles titled “My Planet by FAR.” Owners of the collectibles can redeem shopping perks and a “My BYFAR Planet” badge set by presenting their tokens to offline boutiques in both Beijing and Shanghai.
The Verdict: After solidifying its title as a cult favorite with western fashion enthusiasts, the brand is now extending its ambitions into China in the hope of achieving the same status among consumers there. The group has already found some success by tapping social platforms such as Xiaohongshu. Now, it’s taking its strategy one step further and utilizing the Chinaverse’s considerable horsepower to develop an even stronger digital presence.
Many niche lines like By Far are turning to the Chinaverse as a means of attracting both fashion-conscious consumers and ahead-of-the-curve netizens. While traditional routes are sometimes hard to crack — due to the challenge of locals’ staunch brand loyalty — Web3 is a chance for new entrants to capture the attention of potential audiences and experiment with creative concepts.
Kunogigi Taps China’s Gen-Z By Introducing New Virtual Mascot And Miniverse In Latest Handbag Campaign
What Happened: Chinese handbag brand Kunogigi is augmenting its virtual marketing efforts within the label’s online landscape “Gulang Tea House” as part of a strategy to draw in China’s younger consumers. The group recently launched its latest physical collection — a series of pig-themed handbags — alongside a reveal of the campaign’s very own virtual mascot, “Gigi.” Gigi will reside in the line’s new miniverse, the “Pig Collection House”; as part of the project, Kunogigi has also released a series of piglet-themed digital collectibles targeted at its consumer base.
The Verdict: 2023 is likely to see the digital collectibles market experience something of a renaissance, not least because of Beijing’s recent U-turn on its restriction. Following a turbulent year for NFTs and collectibles in China’s Web3 space, small brands and behemoths alike are channeling money into developing a strong and solid market for these digital assets.
Businesses looking to perform well in the sector should focus on Gen Z, the demographic most likely to influence future decisions and take the virtual industry to new frontiers. By harnessing both the digital collectibles trend and virtual mascot hype, Kunogigi’s latest project does exactly that. But with big names (and their unmatchable financial firepower) now dominating the space, cultural recognition is becoming ever more tricky to achieve.
Alo Yoga’s Loyalty NFT Program Makes A Case For Token Value In Fashion’s Web3 Market
What Happened: LA athleisure brand Alo Yoga will launch its NFTs to the owners of its first premium collection, Aspen, released last year. Each product from the line has been linked to its very own digital twin, which unlocks various offline benefits including real-life experiences such as access to Alo Houses, personal training sessions at the label’s dedicated Alo Wellness Clubs, and access to private stylists who will unveil sneak peeks of new collections pre-launch. Owners of pieces from the physical collection, which was showcased during September’s NYFW, will receive an email with instructions on how to receive a token that functions as a pass to the company’s loyalty program.
The Verdict: Though not the first brand to dive into the world of NFTs, Alo Yoga has taken a fresh approach to how it engages consumers with digital assets. Shoppers can purchase the physical product first — immediately granting them tangible value — with the token arriving as a secondary perk, unlocking access to an exclusive community based on its brand values of health and wellness. The strategy makes a strong case for how fashion labels should be approaching their entry into the metaverse, and how to keep their customers satiated in the long run.