Gucci to launch experience on Apple’s Vision Pro. Will fashion peers follow suit?

    Gucci is the latest to join the lineup of brands launching activations via Apple’s Vision Pro headset. Swapping e-commerce for experience, can the headset live up to the maison’s luxury credentials?
    A still from 'Who Is Sabato De Sarno? A Gucci Story,' coming to a Vision Pro near you. Photo: Gucci

    What happened:

    Gucci, an early proponent of the metaverse and Web3 tech, is expanding its digital playbook. On April 3, the Italian maison will unveil a new mixed reality experience via Apple’s widely buzzed Vision Pro.

    Headset users will be able to access an augmented edition of Who Is Sabato De Sarno? A Gucci Story, a short film featuring never-before-seen footage from De Sarno’s debut Gucci Ancora show in September last year. The documentary originally aired on global streaming platform Mubi on March 15.

    As part of the activation, users will be able to curate their own virtual spaces and interact with 3D-products inspired by the Gucci Ancora showcase.

    The Jing Take:

    Released to the public on February 2, the Vision Pro is already making its mark on the luxury landscape.

    To date, over 600 apps, from brands including Don Julio, Alo Yoga, and Mytheresa, have launched on the headset. According to findings from marketing service Sortlist, 77.1 percent of fashion companies plan to invest, or have already started investing in immersive experiences for the Vision Pro.

    Gucci’s activation, however, places less focus on shopping, and more on delivering an experiential journey to its audience through storytelling.

    “While recent applications of the Apple Vision Pro have predominantly revolved around e-commerce, Gucci goes further with a curated experience,” Anne-Liese Prem, CEO of Tomorrow Stories communications agency, penned on LinkedIn.

    The maison is no stranger to exploring new arenas. One of the first brands to enter Web3 during its infancy, Gucci has blazed the trail for luxury with its loyal NFT (non-fungible token) community, immersive metaverse destinations, and robust gaming roadmap. Its commitment to the virtual world, even under the new creative direction of De Sarno, has been a success. For example, the Gucci Garden Roblox activation, launched in March 2021, has amassed almost 20 million visits to date, according to metaverse data platform Geeiq.

    A first look at Gucci's Apple Vision Pro experience. Photo: Micael Barilaro/LinkedIn
    A first look at Gucci's Apple Vision Pro experience. Photo: Micael Barilaro/LinkedIn

    The challenge with the Vision Pro, however, is delivering a luxury experience using 3D models, which can sometimes be clunky and low fidelity. As immersive technology matures, consumer expectations for a frictionless user experience are swelling.

    In the two months of its public existence, the Vision Pro has lived up to a lot of its promises. But it’s also fallen short on a few, too. Owners have complained of inconsistent eye and hand tracking – a critical feature of the headset – and that it is too heavy; factors which limit the level of luxury brands can deliver via the wearable.

    The Vision Pro’s unique offering sets it apart from other tech wearables, bolstering its appeal among brands fighting to stay ahead of the curve. With spatial computing set to dominate this year’s virtual landscape – the market is expected to hit around $705.15 billion by 2033, according to Precedence Research – Gucci is positioning itself at the forefront of the conversation before competitors can get there first.

    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.

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