The first five months of this year have seen luxury and mainstream fashion names refine their approach to the metaverse. Rather than trying to tackle everything all at once, brands are honing in on crafting well-executed experiences before embarking on the next phase of their Web3 roadmaps.
But even with this newly revised approach, businesses are still struggling to cater to the preferences of their Web3 native audiences. For example, Nike’s .Swoosh platform crashed this week because it couldn’t handle the number of users on it, and members were quick to vocalize their complaints.
In other news, both streetwear label Ambush and fashion house Fendi are taking the next step in their metaverse evolution. The two have teamed up with Web3 hardware wallet startup Ledger this week on a project that reimagines crypto storage through the creative lens of each label, as Ledger explores new frontiers to expand its audience base.
Crypto-Hardware Pioneer Ledger Teams Up With Fendi And Ambush To Launch Exclusive Hardware Cases Reimagined By The Brands
What Happened: Ledger, the world leader in hardware for cryptocurrency and blockchain applications, has joined forces with globally-renowned Japanese streetwear label Ambush and iconic fashion house Fendi to launch two products specifically geared towards Ledger’s consumer base.
Ambush’s “liquid metal case” has been designed exclusively to complement Ledger’s latest product development breakthrough, the Ledger Stax — a next-gen, Bluetooth-powered hardware wallet designed by Tony Fadell, the legendary builder of the iPod and iPhone.
Meanwhile, Fendi’s tie-up with Ledger brings to life its own reimagined crypto case, inspired by the classic Baguette bag.
The Verdict: Ledger is proving it’s more than just a one-trick pony when it comes to weighty collabs, and moving into the world of luxury accessories is a promising growth opportunity for the startup. With more luxury consumers opting to invest in the metaverse and cryptocurrencies, elevating its cutting-edge gadgets to a luxury-level standard through partnerships with the likes of Fendi is sure to draw the attention of the tech-savvy, high fashion crowd.
Meanwhile, Ambush hasn’t shied away from taking risks and diving into Web3. Its first foray into the metaverse was back in February 2022, when the label unveiled its inaugural “POW! Reboot” non-fungible token (NFT) collection.
Earlier this year, Ambush founder Yoon Ahn told Jing Daily in an exclusive interview that she perceives Ambush as less of a brand and more of a platform for potential collaboration. She also views every physical project as an opportunity to bridge real life and the virtual world. Her latest partnership does just that.
Gucci Cruise Collection Gets A Metaverse Makeover Via Zepeto’s Digital Runway
What Happened: Following in the footsteps of Prada and Dior, Gucci recently aired its “Cruise” collection via South Korean gaming and social platform Zepeto, using avatars that were dressed in digitally-rendered versions of the house’s new runway designs. The luxury label launched its own world on the platform back in 2021.
Audience members could watch a livestream of the physical runway, purchase items from the virtual Gucci store, and get their photo taken at the Gucci photo booth. According to metaverse data company Geeiq, the experience received around 235,000 total visits and achieved a 95 percent audience approval rate.
The Verdict: Gucci has consolidated its Zepeto presence through a number of experiences. Its Gucci Garden campaign, which launched last year, received 6.18 million visits, as reported by Geeiq.
With around 1.5 million daily users and an overall user base exceeding 300 million, Zepeto allows brands to connect with its Gen Z-heavy audience and explore new avenues of social retail.
Casablanca Releases Fully AI-Generated Campaign For Its SS23 Collection
What Happened: French-Moroccan fashion house Casablanca unveiled its new AI-generated campaign this week for its “Futuro Optimisto” SS23 collection. Until now, the brand has championed old-school approaches to media and design by solely shooting its campaigns using film. This latest move demonstrates a new creative direction for the label.
Using image generator Midjourney, the AI-generated visuals were inspired by Mexican landscapes merged with surrealism to reimagine campaign storytelling. No models were needed for the campaign, and the technology eradicated the task of having to scout for the perfect shoot location.
The Verdict: What apparently started as a joke between Casablanca’s founder Charaf Tajer and art director Steve Grimes has unlocked future potential for Casablanca’s creative endeavours. But the brand must tread lightly to avoid leaving a sour taste in consumers’ mouths.
Earlier this year, Levi’s came under fire for deploying AI-technology in its business model, which consisted of the denim giant replacing real models with artificial ones. Branded under the guise of “being able to deliver better diversified offerings,” to its consumer base, audiences weren’t convinced and slammed the brand’s decision as a cost-cutting gimmick.
However, if Casablanca can strike a balance between utilizing cutting-edge technology and continuing to work with real-life creatives, it may just get away with it. After all, New York-based cult favorite Vaquera has also started playing around with AI functions in its own campaigns, which have been received well by the general fashion crowd so far.