For the last months, customers see one of their favorite companies enter the metaverse almost on a daily basis. Recently, Gucci, with their Gucci Vault announced its new vision for the future with a metaverse in The Sandbox, Rimowa partnered with RTFK for a Virtual suitcase Collab, Disney unveiled a new virtual store, and various automakers developed Web3 ads with interactive gameplay.
The 2022 Metaverse Fashion Trends study was created last month as a result of Roblox‘s collaboration with Parsons School of Design, which involved intensive research and a survey of Gen Z users who regularly play Roblox and are familiar with digital fashion.
The metaverse is just getting started, despite some claims to the contrary, and it appears that Gen Z is setting the pace. Before the idea of the metaverse gained popularity, Roblox had been revolutionizing online fashion and self-expression for its users for more than a decade. During the first three quarters of 2022, more than 11.5 million community creatives have designed over 62 million pieces of digital clothing and accessory item in Roblox.
“Collaborating on this research with Roblox has made it even more clear that self-expression through digital fashion is important for digital natives and Gen Z. Many already value digital fashion items and designers just as much as (or sometimes more than) they value physical items, and this will grow with time. As a result, it will become more and more important for future designers to be able not just to create physical collections, but also introduce digital versions of their collections,” shared Ben Barry, PhD, Dean and Associate Professor of Equity and Inclusion, School of Fashion at The New School’s Parsons School of Design
Since its launch in 2006, Roblox has met the rising demand by providing design and distribution tools to fuel users’ creativity in producing virtual clothing. to start each user’s journey of personal digital identity creation inside the metaverse setting.
A quarter of the world’s population, Gen Z, relies on their avatars and metaverse looks to represent themselves today, in contrast to earlier generations who heavily doubt the virtual world and digital fashion.
Clothing has long been a popular means of self-expression and a reflection of cultural backgrounds, personalities, moods, and fashions. Roblox and Parsons found that, in the modern age, half of Gen Z users change their avatar’s clothing at least once a week and feel that doing so allows them to express their individuality — just like in the real world.
The influence of creator communities in fashion has increased significantly as a result of Gen Z spending more time online. At the moment, there are at least 200 times more Roblox developers creating apparel than there are American fashion designers producing actual clothing. The world’s next Coco Chanel, according to Cathy Hackl, Chief Metaverse Officer and Co-Founder of Journey, “is certainly a 10-year-old girl who is currently developing avatar skins on Roblox.”
More over half of Roblox respondents thought a profession as a digital fashion designer was just as impressive or even more impressive as the role of a traditional fashion designer, indicating that the overall reputation of digital fashion is growing. The metaverse has evened the playing field for creators to dabble in fashion design as a hobby and monetize off their creations – without holding a full-time fashion career or design education.
“This is something that various barriers may prevent them from doing in the physical world – from the cost of materials to not having sewing skills or knowing how to pattern draft, or simply not having a way to share what they are creating with a broader audience, which is an important incentive,” explained, Daniel Drak, Assistant Professor of Strategic Design and Fashion Communication & Associate Director of MPS Fashion Management, Parsons School of Design.
By offering the chance for co-creation in digital fashion and branded content, some of the major international brands who have joined Roblox’s metaverse, such as Walmart, Tommy Hilfiger, and Samsung, have taken advantage of Gen Z’s creativity and willingness to participate.
Tommy Hilfiger announces a partnership with creators @PolarcubArt, @RynityRift, @Zealocity_, @MiracleDropsRBX, @Blizzei_, and @missmudmaam_mmm to bring exclusive verchandise to the Roblox Avatar Shop.
— Bloxy News (@Bloxy_News) December 16, 2021
More than 400 million people use metaverse platforms on a monthly basis, with Roblox having the highest user population. More people than ever before are engaging, playing games, and socializing online, and nearly 75% of Roblox users stated they spend money on their virtual clothes and accessories.
During the Gucci Garden show that was held in Roblox in May 2021, Gucci unveiled a digital rendition of the Dionysus Bag with Bee. Originally, the bag cost 475 Robux, or around $6 USD.
Thousands of users flocked to the virtual merchandise after the event, leading to one user paying 350K Roblux (approximately $4,115 USD), or $800 USD more than they would have paid for the actual Dionysus Bag with Bee.
With more than 25% of Roblox user’s spending anywhere from $20 to over $100 USD on a single digital item, the metaverse offers brands a number of new ways to capitalize on their product, and they shouldn’t ignore it.