What Happened: Dior is extending its Chinaverse push once again. On September 27, the French luxury fashion house presented its Spring/Summer 2023 ready-to-wear show in the metaverse via digital space Meta-Ziwu in virtual universe XiRang — a Web3 application owned by Chinese search engine conglomerate Baidu. Audiences were able to watch the livestream within a digitally-rendered space complete with large-scale Dior logos and an other-wordly aesthetic.
The Jing Take: The project signals a continuation of Dior’s exploration of the mainland’s online dimensions, as well as an expansion of its existing relationship with the tech giant. Only earlier this year did we see the label launch its first-ever metaverse exhibition,”‘On The Road,” again in partnership with Baidu and its virtual landscape of Meta-Ziwu. With this in mind, could the collaboration become a regular running narrative for the brand? This latest runway suggests that the maison could be working towards crafting a long-term relationship with the metaverse media platform as part of its China takeover strategy.
But, as always for the luxury stalwarts, there’s competition. Investment banking company JPMorgan predicts that the total addressable market in China for business services and software in the metaverse will reach $27 billion (195.3 billion RMB), while digitalizing the offline consumption of goods and services will make up a $4 trillion market in China. As a result, we’re witnessing the proliferation of luxury houses utilizing large-scale tech groups in the country to leverage their virtual brand presences. In August, Prada livestreamed the repeat of its Fall 2022 collection via XiRang, in which onlookers across the globe could transport directly to the showcase and wave goodbye to the spatial constraints between the physical and virtual.
Will more brands begin to recognize the opportunities of XiRang? Is it possible that the Chinaverse may see its first-ever Metaverse Fashion Week schedule in the near future? If so, challenges lie ahead for Dior on how it can differentiate itself from its contenders to stay culturally relevant and remain one of the most influential, China-savvy luxury names across the mainland.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media