In an era where technology permeates every aspect of our lives, leading brands like Adidas, Gucci, and Nike are exploring new territories in the digital realm. The concept of Web3 and the metaverse has piqued the interest of these global giants, prompting them to venture into this uncharted territory. Nike, a pioneer in its field, has already established a strong presence in the metaverse, while Adidas and Gucci are not far behind. With their respective strategies, these brands are redefining the intersection of fashion, technology, and customer engagement.
Nike has been particularly enthusiastic about the possibilities that the metaverse offers, filing patents for virtual apparel and footwear, and even launching a Roblox-based universe called Nikeland. Adidas, on the other hand, has collaborated with Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) for its first NFT collection, “Into the Metaverse,” and has acquired virtual land in The Sandbox metaverse. Gucci, a luxury fashion brand known for its innovation, has opened “Gucci Town” in Roblox and established partnerships with Zepeto and Superplastic.
Nike has been really supportive and enthusiastic about Web3 and the metaverse. Apart from filing several patents regarding plans of selling virtual apparel and footwear, Nike has already established a strong presence in the metaverse by:
- Launching a Roblox-based universe called Nikeland intended to be a free immersive sports space where users can interact with one another and participate in free sporting events. The company launched this initiative in November 2021 with the intention to help users turn sports and gaming into a lifestyle. So far, it has received 7 million visits. In this world, buildings, fields and courts are inspired by the Nike headquarters and are also equipped with detailed scenarios where the skills of Roblox users are put to the test in mini-games. Furthermore, it’s expected that users will be able to purchase branded clothes for their avatars.
- Acquiring RTFKT. Nike acquired RTFKT, a leading brand and NFT studio in December 2021. Founded in 2020, RTFKT is pioneering and innovating brand-building in the boundaries of physical and digital economies.
- Nike launched its first collection of NFT sneakers created in a collaboration with RTFKT Studios, “CryotoKicks Dunk Genesis,” a collection of 13,570 items that has generated over 7,600 Ether (ETH) of traded volume. An interesting feature is that users can customize each pair using “skin vials.” These vials can be created by different designers, adding special effects and patterns to the base sneakers.
- Furthermore, Nike has continued releasing drops (with RTFKT), including a complete NFT collectiondrop called CloneX (an NFT profile picture collection from RTFKT). With this collection, the company has also included a merch drop by airdroping Nike Air Force 1 with designs based on specific Clonex NFT traits. This collection, called RTFKT CloneX Forging SZN 1, has raised a total of 3,500 ETH as total traded volume.
- Nike has demonstrated its ability and willingness to interact and experiment with Web3 and metaverse technology, and it seems to be paying off. According to on-chain analytics, Nike has outperformed every other brand that has interacted with Web3 and NFTs when considering the revenue its initiatives have generated. In this case, Nike, thanks to RTFKT, has generated over $180 million in revenues (primary and royalties), while Adidas, another sports apparel company, has only generated 10% of that amount.
Adidas has also made big moves when it comes to its Web3 and metaverse strategy.
- NFT drop in collaboration with Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Adidas sold its first NFT collection, “Into the Metaverse,” back in December 2021.
- The NFTs were sold for 0.2 ETH each, and each unlocks a digital and physical wearable (hoodie, tracksuit and Gmoney’s signature orange beanie). Furthermore, the digital version will be used in The Sandbox metaverse. As part of this initiative, Adidas purchased its first NFT, BAYC #8774, for its “Into the Metaverse” campaign.
- Participation in The Sandbox metaverse. Adidas acquired virtual land in The Sandbox metaverse, with plans to build a virtual world with exclusive content and experiences.
Gucci is another brand that has made significant and courageous moves in metaverse by:
- Opening “Gucci Town” in Roblox. On May 22, Gucci started a short-term presence in Roblox with a garden space called “Art Garden.” This space, conceived as a virtual representation of an installation called Gucci Garden Archetypes in Florence, was available for Roblox Users for two weeks.
- Making the place look like a central garden (with the classic Gucci logo) and having connections to different stages where users can perform different activities, such as playing mini-games and visiting a store, where it’s possible to purchase Gucci merchandise for Roblox’s avatars. According to the company, over 20 million players have visited the garden.
- Establishing a partnership with Zepeto. In February 2021, Gucci partnered with Zepeto, a leading app and social platform that personalizes avatars and creates virtual worlds. With the collaboration, Zepeto users are able to purchase and dress their avatars with pieces from Gucci House’s latest collections and explore the Gucci Villa world.
- Collaborating with Superplastic for an NFT series. The vinyl toy brand partnered with Gucci to launch a unique NFT collection featuring Gucci-styled Superplastic characters. The complete set is designed by Gucci head of design Alessandro Michele and will come with a physical ceramic representation, which will be handmade by Italian artisans.
- At the time of this writing, the collection’s floor price is 0.82 ETH ($1,300) and has a total trading volume of 6,00 ETH.
- Launching a virtual experience in The Sandbox. This space is based on the Gucci Vault platform and will offer immersive experiences, including an experimental store with Gucci vintage pieces.
Other Fashion brands
- Other brands have started experimenting with metaverse technology. Most of them joined Decentraland in the first metaverse fashion week event. Brands like Estée Lauder, Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce & Gabbana understand that this virtual realm has the potential to convert the e-commerce shopping experience from 2D product images into a 3D immersive shopping experience.
- In this event, there was a virtual fashion exhibition and the opening of the Fashion District, where 15+ brands, including Tommy Hilfiger and Hogan, have flagship virtual stores.
The innovative steps taken by Nike, Adidas, and Gucci towards embracing the metaverse and Web3 technology have set the stage for a new era in the fashion industry. Their experiences provide valuable insights for other fashion brands that are yet to venture into this space. For instance, brands like Estée Lauder, Tommy Hilfiger, and Dolce & Gabbana have begun experimenting with the metaverse through participation in the first metaverse fashion week event in Decentraland.
In conclusion, it’s evident that the metaverse is more than just a passing fad; it’s a revolutionary platform that’s transforming how we interact with brands and consume products. As Adidas, Gucci, and Nike continue to innovate and expand their presence in the metaverse, they’re setting a standard for other brands to follow. The success of these brands in the metaverse also underscores the importance of adapting to technological advancements and customer expectations in today’s digital age. Indeed, the future of fashion lies in the metaverse, and brands that embrace this will likely lead the pack in the years to come.