The Italian version of this article was first published in Wired
It seems that fashion is leading the transition from the physical to the virtual world, the metaverse, an all-encompassing space where all digital experiences are possible. This is how Eric Redmond, Nike Global Director of Technology Innovation, defines it.
The most famous international brands, some of which are Italian, are leading the way. At first glance this may seem counterintuitive, given that fashion is defined by a physical experience, both in terms of the materiality of the product and the shopping experience which, at least until the advent of e-commerce, was an off-line experience. The pandemic has accelerated, even in fashion and luxury, the tendency to exploit digital opportunities, but perhaps in fashion the acceleration is even more driven by the idea, which has been strongly emerging in recent months, that our lives can be digitalized and virtualized.
In Italy, OTB – parent company of the Diesel and Margela brands – announced the new business unit “Brave Virtual Xperience” (so called “BVX”) some weeks ago. Gucci recently created the immersive “Gucci Garden event” on Roblox in conjunction with the event of the same name in Florence and created a pop-up metaverse activation on The Sims gaming platform. Balenciaga, Gucci’s stablemate in Kering Group, is creating a business unit dedicated to exploring marketing and commercial opportunities in the “metaverse”.
Let’s not forget that Nike…