Farfetch’s AR company wants you to try on bags virtually

    This week in Web3 news, Farfetch's AR platform Wanna launches virtual try-on solution for handbags, Hugo Boss joins Roblox, and AI-powered fashion label Mmerch secures $6.4 million in seed funding.
    Farfetch-owned Wanna offers consumers VTO e-commerce solutions. Photo: Wanna

    Wanna, the Farfetch-owned augmented reality (AR) try-on platform founded last year, has expanded its VTO (virtual try-on) solution to handbags. After piloting its technology alongside Valentino last June, the company is scaling up its offerings as consumer demand for better e-commerce experiences swells.

    In other news this week, Hugo Boss joins myriad brands harnessing Roblox with its first in-game activation, while blockchain and AI-enabled luxury newcomer Mmerch has secured a multi-million seed funding round, backed by some of the fashion industry’s biggest names.

    Wanna has launched its new VTO solution for handbags. Photo: Wanna
    Wanna has launched its new VTO solution for handbags. Photo: Wanna

    Farfetch’s Wanna releases virtual try-on solution for handbags#

    What happened: Wanna, a provider of immersive AR and VTO technology for the luxury industry, has announced the launch of VTO for its bags. The solution allows customers to interact with the bag before making a purchase, try it on virtually, pair it with their outfits, and assess the fit, anywhere and anytime.

    The verdict: After being offered a lifeline last year, all eyes are on how Farfetch can turn things around and reignite its flame. Wanna’s tech-driven solutions may be its white knight. The virtual fitting room market size was valued at $4.03 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from $4.79 billion in 2023 to $18.31 billion by 2030, according to Fortune Business Insights, potentially putting Wanna in pole position to lead luxury’s tech revolution.

    Competition is heating up. In February, Yoox Net-a-Porter added Deepgears’ virtual try-on tech into its menswear site Mr Porter; Deepgears reports that brands using the tech have witnessed an average 25 percent decrease in return rates on their products.

    Hugo Boss has unveiled a multi-experience activation in Roblox. Photo: Hugo Boss
    Hugo Boss has unveiled a multi-experience activation in Roblox. Photo: Hugo Boss

    Hugo Boss joins the Roblox frenzy#

    What happened: Hugo Boss has launched Planet Hugo, an “ecosystem of unique, interconnected experiences” on Roblox. The venture includes the debut of two new activations, Hugo Hangout and Hugo Fashion Match, which bring together gamification, social styling experiences, and co-creation within a new digital universe.

    The verdict: Released in line with the brand’s Hugo Blue physical denim launch, Hugo Boss is taking its youthful spirit to the metaverse in a bid to target Gen Z consumers.

    A report published by video game developer Gamefam found that Roblox players visited branded games more than 1.8 billion times and spent more than 11 billion minutes in the virtual worlds in 2023, producing an average visit time of just over six minutes. More than 240 branded activations were released in the game last year, keeping up the platform’s momentum as a lucrative marketing destination.

    A first look at mmERCH's debut collection. Photo: mmERCH
    A first look at mmERCH's debut collection. Photo: mmERCH

    Mmerch secures $6.4 million in seed funding#

    What happened: Blockchain-enabled fashion start-up Mmerch has announced a $6.4 million seed funding round led by Liberty City Ventures, supported by Christie’s Ventures, Tory Burch and Karlie Kloss, among other notable players in the fashion, art and Web3 space.

    According to the brand’s press release, the funding will deepen its commitment to shaking up the fashion industry, incorporating non-traditional elements, such as AI, generative algorithms and blockchain technology, to offer digitally-linked, one-of-a-kind clothing. The brand will unveil its debut collection next month.

    The verdict: Founder of Mmerch, Colby Mugrabi, describes the brand concept neo-couture as a workflow that aims to provide one-of-one clothing on the same scale as the homogenous, mass produced products churned out by fast fashion conglomerates. To do so, the brand is banking on generative AI and machine-learning to streamline production, while keeping it personal.

    Having the backing of brands as prominent in the luxury style space as Tory Burch proves how attitudes towards tech-driven fashion are changing. As consumers come round to the idea of tech-infused clothing, Mmerch is showing how non-traditional fashion labels can utilize emerging software in a way that’s less fad, and more forever.

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