Beauty is dominating the Web3 spotlight this week, with cosmetics chain L’Occitane putting its own spin on the virtual experience. Sephora is also preparing a new metaverse endeavor for its annual “Sephoria” event, which will be brought to life in a hybrid format for the first time in 2023, offering a free virtual experience alongside a ticketed in-person event in New York.
After making quantum leaps across Web3 with his NYFW “Tommy Factory” project last September, followed by the launch of a new multi-metaverse hub in March this year, Tommy Hilfiger is expanding its virtual presence once again. This time, the brand is swapping its usual bells and whistles for a more low-key approach. We explore this below, along with how Threads is winning over China’s netizens, despite a countrywide ban on the app.
Tommy Hilfiger deepens its presence in Web3 with new virtual project ‘Tommy Parallel’
What Happened: The American fashion label is investing further in its innovation roadmap. In addition to dropping a phygital collection created in collaboration with The Fabricant, the brand has also unveiled an interoperable virtual universe for its community.
Hosted in both Hiber World and Spatial (which is yet to be launched), visitors can navigate the space using customizable avatars styled in Tommy Hilfiger’s digital wearables. The garments take the brand’s image to new, future-facing realms, playing with elements like marshmallow-y puffer jackets and tracksuits swathed in thick rope detailing.
The Verdict: Following a brief hiatus from the Web3 spotlight, Tommy Hilfiger is quietly building on a fully-realized metaverse presence — this time, by taking another step into the world of IRL and URL fashion. While a leader in the offline luxury fashion space, the brand is relying heavily on frontrunners in the metaverse, including The Fabricant, Hiber, and Spatial, to bring its latest project to life and elevate its digital status.
The result is an impressive nod to Hilfiger’s embrace of tech. However, unlike its previous virtual projects, it’s made less of a splash on the fashion community, receiving little media coverage outside of Web3 punditry.
L’Occitane launches branded virtual world experience to elevate marketing efforts
What Happened: L’Occitane Group also dove into Web3 with an online environment this week. The brand launched its first dedicated virtual world in partnership with cyber store developer Emperia on July 7, which transports visitors to the heart of Provence to explore the label’s ingredients and hero products.
Participants can also roam through the experience via hot air balloon or bicycle while learning more about the brand’s behind-the-scenes production process.
The Verdict: As the industry embraces digital experiences, L’Occitane’s inaugural venture aims to elevate beauty ecommerce through immersive storytelling and educational content. It’s not a new concept per say, as brands have been dabbling with branded digital landscapes for a few years now.
But it’s how each company approaches the opportunity that makes them stand out. In L’Occitane’s case, the label has pulled off a hat trick; its new experience is equal parts well-rounded, hyper realistic, and seamless to use.
Threads skyrockets up Apple China’s app store, despite being blocked by public firewall
What Happened: It seems people can’t get enough of Instagram’s new content-sharing platform. Threads, the shiny new app created by Zuckerberg’s Meta, is making waves across China, despite being blocked by the Great Firewall.
The channel has caught up with the likes of Xiaohongshu and Weibo as one of the country’s most popular social applications, after amassing over 100 million global sign-ups in five days.
The Verdict: Its top-level ranking comes as no surprise, considering the hype that Threads has generated over the past week. Netizens across China are able to access the application through virtual private networks (VPNs) that bypass the country’s internet regulations.
Western channels like Facebook and Instagram have also been able to slip through the censorship net in the past. Though, it seems only a matter of time before Threads is either removed from local app stores or its access is modified to fall in line with China’s content restrictions. Even if the app’s popularity ends up being short-lived, it will be interesting to see how it fares against domestic social channels and rivals in the meantime.