What Happened: Tommy Hilfiger has made his long-awaited return to New York Fashion Week for the first time since before the pandemic, bringing the metaverse along with him for the ride. The Tommy Factory show, which was inspired by Andy Warhol and ended up being one of NYFW’s most diverse playgrounds, invited a number of NFT and gaming influencers to attend — including anonymous collector Gmoney and digital creator and Vogue Taiwan cover star Emily Yang (@pplpleasr) — as the eponymous brand continues on its unique metaversal evolution.
In addition to the physical event, onlookers from around the world were able to tune in to watch the fashion show via gaming platform Roblox. Players could choose to watch either a virtual version or a livestream of the in-person event within the Roblox universe, as well as purchase digital see-now-buy-now counterparts of the IRL collection, with prices ranging from 50 Robux or 63 cents (the app’s currency) to 200 Robux ($2.50 or 17.31 RMB).
The Jing Take: Over the course of the year, Hilfiger has proved that it is one of few premium labels across the globe that truly understands what Web3 means. From its virtual pop-up during Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week to the curation of Tommy Play on Roblox, the American company has invested time in cultivating a strong offline-online community, alongside connecting with key figureheads within the space.
The powerhouse’s latest endeavor is no different. Rather than explore new avenues within Web3, Hilfiger has opted to expand upon its already existing Roblox presence with this digital runway. While some may argue that the gaming universe is at risk of oversaturation — several big names in fashion, including Gucci, Givenchy Beauty, and Burberry have onboarded onto the platform over the past six months — for Hilfiger, it’s a wise move to capitalize on an area in which the group is already well-established.
The project sparked conversation across China too, with many posts via Weibo reporting on the event — largely due to the fact that idols such as Tony Yu were in attendance. Nevertheless, the widespread popularity of the showcase demonstrates the global appeal of the metaverse and its ability to leverage the runway experience. As Web3 continues to snowball towards the mainstream, more businesses are pivoting towards virtual initiatives, meaning competition in the space is increasingly rife. NYFW may come and go, but thanks to its forward-thinking commitment to innovation and creativity, Hilfiger’s impact on the metaverse and digital fashion prevails.
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.