The virtual luxury space is being expanded with major brands jumping on the digital bandwagon. Thanks to the advancement of blockchain technology and the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFT), the virtual space has grown to become a lucrative area for brands, creators, and tech companies.
In recent months, we have seen several major virtual items being sold at mind-boggling prices. A piece of digital art by Beeple, titled The First 5000 Days, was sold for a record US$69.3 million. Just recently, an NFT of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first published tweet was purchased for US$2.9 million. Now we are beginning to see high-end brands and labels getting in on the action to further expand their presence in the digital product space.
The move is inevitable as it provides an area for brands to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity. By creating products for the virtual luxury marketplace, they also gain presence in a new marketing space. Here are some brands that have expanded their reach into this new digital world.
Burberry & Honor Of Kings
In Honor of Kings’ first co-creation with a luxury brand, Burberry Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci has exclusively designed two skins for the mobile game’s popular heroine, Yao. The character’s two exclusive skins have been inspired by Burberry hours codes as reinterpreted by Tisci. Seamlessly blending the physical and digital worlds, Yao’s ‘Spirit of Nature’ new skin draws upon Burberry’s rich heritage and includes references to the iconic House check, the trench coat, and the Thomas Burberry Monogram. The exclusive Burberry skins will be available to purchase for all Honor of Kings players in mainland China.
Gucci’s Virtual Sneakers
Can’t afford a pair of Gucci sneakers? Well, now you can, albeit virtually of course. The Italian luxury house has created its first ‘digital’ shoes, which can be worn in virtual or augmented worlds online. The Virtual 25 trainer is a collaborative effort with AR fashion platform Wanna, and is available for purchase on both the companies’ app platforms for between US$9 and US$12.
The non-physical shoes carry a neon green, bubble-gum pink, and sky-blue motif. The brand’s iconic double G logo is featured on the sole and dial. The Virtual 25 shoes can work in virtual or augmented worlds such as the virtual reality social platform VRChat and online game Roblox.
The US$500k Mars House
It’s hard to fathom a virtual home costing more than an actual property but it has happened. Mars House, the world’s first digital NFT, was sold for over half a million dollars in March. Designed by digital artist Krista Kim, the new owner purchased the ‘home’ with 288 Ethereum coins, a cryptocurrency that is equivalent to US$514,557.79 according to CNN. For that exchange, the buyer will receive the 3D files of the virtual luxury residence, which they can upload to their ‘metaverse’ – a collective virtual shared space.
Valentino & Marc Jacobs On Animal Crossing
It says a lot about fashion when your avatar has better clothes than you. Last year, Valentino and Marc Jacobs both dropped digitised clothes into popular social simulation game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Bridging the world of gaming and high fashion, the brands produced downloadable looks for the game. Valentino offered 20 downloadable styles, taken from its SS20 and pre-AW20 collections. Marc Jacobs on the other hand recreated six of his favourite looks for the hit fantasy game.
The NFT Watch From Jacob & Co.
Renowned for its timepieces that blend watchmaking and fine jewellery, Jacob & Co. is now setting its sights on the virtual world. The brand is introducing its first NFT luxury watch, which will be auctioned on the ArtGrails NFT platform on 4 April. The unique three-dimensional virtual luxury timepiece is based off the brand’s one-a-kind Epic SF24 tourbillon. The successful bidder with receive a certificate of ownership and a case, which contains a hard drive with a digital rendering of the Jacob & Co. watch.