What Happened: On April 28, the French house Dior launched its first-ever metaverse exhibition in China, “On the Road,” in partnership with Meta Media Holdings, the parent company of the fashion magazine iWeekly. The maison showcased its Fall 2022 menswear collection through an interactive experience in the “Meta Ziwu” virtual space created by Ma Yansong: a well-known Chinese architect and founder of MAD Architects. It’s hosted on the Baidu metaverse social app XiRang.
The Jing Take: Now more than ever, being associated with one of the hottest buzzwords is a matter of staying relevant to today’s young and distracted consumers. As such, many luxury brands have been testing the waters in the virtual world. From Etro to Dolce & Gabbana and Giuseppe Zanotti, they are lining up to partner with Western platforms — most recently, Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week.
Dior, however, is on a different path. The group is already well versed in the ways of Web3. In July 2021, the Parisian label teamed up with the avatar app ZEPETO to create digital makeup looks, and later in September it collaborated with the metaverse platform Ready Player Me to promote its fragrance. Yet, as China builds its own parallel metaverse ecosystem, there is little doubt that the pioneering firm will want to stake its claim here. So this latest move makes a lot of sense — and the initiative is shrewd.
With the metaverse gaining momentum in the mainland and many local youths stuck at home in lockdown, this is the perfect time to reach this demographic. Dior has paved the way, and now more international and domestic players are expected to unlock meta-experiences here. But there is (of course) a note of caution to be sounded. As always, businesses must actively keep an eye on the government’s regulations. This time, in the metaverse.
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.