Inside the real estate opportunity for brands in the metaverse

With the land in virtual worlds like Decentral being bought, fashion brands are rethinking their approach to creating stores in the metaverse.

The number of worlds supported by blockchain is on the rise, as fashion brands are getting closer to the concept of building worlds through small-scale activations on gaming platforms like Roblox. There is a growing sense that consumers’ overall journey into the metaverse will accelerate in 2022. As such, fashion brands are increasingly embracing the opportunities created by cryptocurrency and delving deeper into blockchain worlds such as Decentraland, a metaverse platform a single layer running on the Ethereum blockchain.

In collaboration with Tokens.com and the UNXD luxury market, Metaverse Fashion Week will arrive in Decentraland in March, expanding the possibilities for brand experiences in the metaverse. The event aims to replicate a traditional fashion week experience, opening it up to the world by providing access for all. According to Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Tokens.com and president of the Metaverse Group, “This could end up being the most watched live fashion event in history.”

In November, the Metaverse Group, a subsidiary of cryptocurrency investment firm Tokens.com, bought the most expensive land in Decentraland, in the Fashion Street district, for $ 2.4 million. “Every day you hear about Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Nike, Adidas – every fashion brand in the world is trying to find a way to create a presence and a strategy for the metaverse,” said Kiguel. “It’s the next iteration of how people use the Internet.”

Previously, Boson Protocol, a decentralized commerce platform, had launched a gallery and bought space to open a virtual shopping center on Decentralized, for $ 704,000. And in June, digital real estate firm Republic Realm bought the platform’s Metajuku shopping district, modeled on the real Harajuku district in Tokyo, Japan for a record MANA of $ 913,808.

“The metaverse is more engaging than Facebook or Instagram. And on those platforms, you can contribute the content, but in the end, that company owns all the ad revenue, “Kiguel said.” You could compare it to Vegas: a hundred years ago it was a desert. But gradually, people started to build the city, which is now a global hub for entertainment. The metaverse is the same. As the shopping “areas” in Decentraland fill up, the question remains whether historical brands will follow. The Web3 Dress X brand, company in digital fashion, it was launched in the Metajuku district in August.

Gaming platforms like Roblox have become popular with fashion brands. Orchestrated by brands from Gucci to Tommy Hilfiger to Forever 21, the platform hosted a number of initiatives aimed at engaging consumers in the worlds of the brand. Roblox has also hosted fashion events such as the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Awards.

Unlike gaming platforms like Roblox, Decentraland, which opened to the public in 2020, operates on the MENA cryptocurrency. So, as with any crypto platform, the entire platform is managed by its users, without a central point of control. And it can be a place to buy and trade NFTs.

Some brands, like fast fashion giant H&M, have been shy about entering the space. Last week, H&M denied rumors that he had entered the metaverse in collaboration with CEEK, a metaverse coin project with a virtual world. This response may have been driven by the many Web3 creatives who criticized the project for lacking the creativity needed for a native Web3 environment and simply for being a replica of a store.

Ana Andjelic, brand strategy executive and sociologist of the fashion business, indicated the space of the Super Rare virtual gallery to illustrate the need to understand the platform and its users, as a starting point before going there. “With Super Rare, you can create your space within a larger ecosystem that is already set up. The people are already there and the communities have already formed. If you enter Decentraland and buy land there, the question is: what are you going to set up there? While it’s best to build on what already exists, it doesn’t work to just say “This is my shop”. It has to be something that is unique to Web3, that adheres to the economic and cultural dynamic that exists in Web3. It needs to be decentralized, community-driven, and cared for. “

With the launch of more experimental projects, such as Nikeland’s Nikeland and Gucci’s Garden in Roblox, brands are seeing that traditional store experiences are missing when pushed into digital platforms. Now, how you enter the metaverse while engaging in cryptocurrency is as important as when.

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