Laneige’s Virtual Store, China’s AI Singers Cause Controversy & More: Web3 Drops Of The Week

This week, Gucci rejoined forces with intellectual property (IP) Marsper, accelerating its metaverse expansion and tapping China’s powerful gaming crowd. Meanwhile, designer Charli Cohen turned to artificial intelligence (AI) for her Web3 platform RSTLSS’ latest collaborative project.

As for China, the country continues to pull ahead with its own metaverse playbook, propelled in large part by the significant government support provided this year. Brands across China shied away from launching one-time metaverse campaigns for this year’s 520 festival, which is a noticeable change from last year, focusing instead on honing their virtual strategies to achieve longer-term impact. 

AI in particular is at the forefront of China’s metaverse race, but concerns about the tech have risen following a boom in AI-generated music artists. Given the country’s first ever virtual human dispute ruling, could a lack of regulation lead to AI’s downfall before it cracks the mainstream?

Designer Charli Cohen launched metaverse fashion platform RSTLSS last year. Photo: RSTLSS

Charli Cohen’s RSTLSS Teams Up With AI Artist Claire Silver On Digital Fashion And Art Collection

What Happened: Fashion designer and founder of metaverse platform RSTLSS Charli Cohen has teamed up with digital and AI artist Claire Silver on a new AI-generated collection that aims to spotlight the boundless possibilities of art and fashion in Web3 by marrying the two fields. Dubbed Pixelgeist, the project takes 183 of Silver’s unreleased artworks and merges them with six garments using AI-powered technology, resulting in 2,136 unique pieces and a game-ready avatar wearing the buyer’s minted garment. 

The Verdict: This collaboration is undoubtedly positioned towards Web3 natives, tapping Silver’s steadfast community of almost 86,000 followers on Twitter. It also showcases how AI is more than just a tool for productivity, and that it can be harnessed to unlock inner creative visions and push the boundaries of beauty and aesthetics.

As of today, the collection is yet to sell out. But brands in Web3 shouldn’t get caught up in seeing sell-out projects as the only indicator of success. Both Silver and Cohen have fostered active and heavily-engaged communities online, allowing them to establish a far-reaching presence across the Web3 realm and remain culturally relevant in the virtual space. This in itself opens opportunities for high-profile collaborations, artistic exposure, and a loyal audience base.

K-beauty brand Laneige’s latest project taps the rising virtual store trend. Photo: Laneige

Laneige Launches Immersive Virtual Store To Leverage Consumer Engagement

What Happened: South Korean skincare and makeup brand Laneige has unveiled its own immersive virtual store in partnership with experiential retail platform Obsess. Launched on Tuesday, May 23, the K-beauty label’s digital venture includes animated room setups inspired by product lines, 360-degree visuals, behind-the-scenes content featuring the brand’s collaboration with Sydney Sweeney and gamified experiences.

The Verdict: Immersive and interactive virtual stores are the latest trend to take over the next wave of retail. The beauty industry in particular has taken the movement in its stride. This new mode of shopping originally took over popular gaming platforms — think Givenchy Beauty in Roblox last year. Now, thanks to flourishing technological milestones, brands are pushing creative boundaries by developing well-sophisticated, 360-degree store experiences. 

Obsess, the developer behind Laneige’s digital experience, said it has received over 85 million user interactions so far. The company has previously partnered with Elizabeth Arden and Laura Mercier to help them launch their own dedicated 3D-branded spaces, which are being deployed in a bid to bolster consumer participation, engagement, and purchase behavior.  

AI-generated idols are causing controversy across China. Photo: Bilibili

As Popularity Of AI Singers Soars In Asia, Legal Concerns Arrive With Them

What Happened: Artificial intelligence singers such as AI Jay Chou, AI Eason Chan, and AI Stefanie Sun, which are created based on the music icons’ voices, are booming across China. For example, an AI-generated version of Singaporean singer and songwriter Sun has been making waves, thanks to her AI version’s superior training effects and adaptability to various musical styles.

Creating AI Stefanie Sun required compiling singing performances, interviews, and live broadcasts from across the musician’s career. Producers were then able to deploy the tech to create an artificial version of Sun’s voice, which has been used to perform a large number of songs. 

The Verdict: There are already thousands of videos relating to AI Stefanie Sun on various online platforms, with many songs scoring millions of clicks on video-sharing site Bilibili alone. However, the rise of this new type of singer has also brought to light a number of concerns and some criticism.

In addition to potentially impacting jobs and intensifying competition for human musicians, AI singers may also infringe on music copyright laws and artist personality rights. Although the users who post these singing videos may not directly profit from them, they may still be seeking to indirectly benefit from site traffic, which could leave them liable for prosecution. 

AI Stefanie Sun’s voice is sampled from Stefanie Sun’s songs and is considered a “recreation,” meaning that if producers use this AI singer for unagreed commercial purposes, they may face a copyright dispute.


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