Gucci’s newly appointed creative director, Sabato de Sarno, made his highly anticipated runway debut at Milan Fashion Week, unveiling the luxury brand’s “Ancora” collection. This momentous event didn’t just stay in the physical world; Gucci has ventured into the metaverse, creating a digital recreation of the fashion show accessible across multiple platforms. The “Ancora” collection, which translates to “yet” or “even now,” according to the designer, is not just about fashion; it’s a narrative celebrating the joy of life, passion, humanity, and inclusivity.
Gucci’s Ancora makes its metaverse appearance
Gucci has consciously designed this collection to welcome everyone, ensuring that its appeal extends beyond the realm of fashion. In a bold move, the designer has taken the fashion show into the metaverse, making it accessible to a wider audience. The luxury fashion brand has partnered with gaming platforms like Roblox, Zepeto in South Korea, and QQ in China to create dedicated metaverse experiences that mirror the physical runway show. Unlike the real-life Milan runway event, which had to be moved indoors due to torrential rain, the metaverse versions proceeded as planned, unfolding seamlessly in the digital realm. The brand’s established presence on Roblox, known as Gucci Town, received a transformation.
Renamed “Gucci Ancora,” it now boasts a refined design that transports visitors to a virtual rendition of the show’s real-world location in Milan’s creative Brera district. Roblox players can engage with flat artwork within this virtual world, unlocking immersive quests that grant them access to elements from the physical show and other exclusive content. The fashion brand’s collaboration with Roblox dates back to 2021 when they introduced a virtual Dionysus handbag. Initially priced at 475 Robux (approximately $6), the demand for these digital accessories soared, with resale prices exceeding the cost of the real-world equivalent.
The digital evolution continues for the fashion brand
Elements from both the Brera district and the runway show have found their place in the designer’s revamped metaverse space on Zepeto. Avatars can explore looks from the physical show in a dedicated theater. Zepeto had previously livestreamed Gucci’s Cruise runway show and hosted an avatar version of the event, allowing visitors to purchase virtual products. This blending of the real and virtual worlds showcases Gucci’s commitment to innovative fashion experiences. QQ, a popular Chinese platform, is also part of Gucci’s metaverse expansion. It’s hosting a screening event where the community can immerse themselves in the Milan Fashion Week action.
Gucci’s foray into the metaverse and gaming platforms is aligned with its “Digital First” imperative and “test and learn” approach to business strategy. This innovative approach underscores the brand’s commitment to staying at the forefront of the fashion industry by embracing digital technology and engaging with a younger, tech-savvy audience. In 2021, Gucci took its first steps into the world of Web3 with the auction of its inaugural NFT through Christie’s. Since then, the brand has formed partnerships with native NFT communities, including 10KTF, utilizing its Vault platform.
One notable collaboration saw the fashion brand team up with Christie’s once again in July, showcasing the work of leading digital artists, including Iskra Velitchkova. The generative algorithm inspired by the Bamboo 1947 bag demonstrated Gucci’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology in the world of fashion. The brand’s presence in the metaverse, combined with its exploration of NFTs and digital art, underscores its determination to remain a trailblazer in the ever-evolving fashion landscape. By embracing the metaverse and Web3 technologies, Gucci aims to not only redefine fashion experiences but also ensure its relevance in a digital-first world.