Across the creative ecosystem, we continue to see industry leaders and creators alike leveraging the metaverse to launch products, curate exhibitions and connect with their communities. In a new monthly roundup, we explore the key players, Web3 initiatives and NFT fashion collaborations you need to know.
Highlights include Balenciaga and Gucci announcing pilot programs to offer cryptocurrency payments in their retail stores. Elsewhere, Institute of Digital Fashion teamed up with Chet Lo and Rupaul’s Drag Race UK star Tayce to drop a “Second Skin Couture” immersive experience. Bella Hadid, Madonna and Charli XCX entered the metaverse in their own unique ways.
Continue scrolling to see this month’s roundup of our favorite cyber collections and metaverse moments.
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INJURY presented its 2022/23 collection through the lens of a CGI short film.
The Australian label INJURY presented its 2022/23 collection at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 in multiverse style. The collection, dubbed “Rare Reality,” is envisioned through otherworldly avatar models inspired by anime and gaming subcultures. “Rare Reality” follows INJURY’s first CGI fashion show “The Butterfly’s Dream,” which was presented at AAFW 2021. The gender-neutral, digital fashion garments are now available on DressX with the possibility to obtain physical counterparts through its made to order service.
Institute of Digital Fashion, Chet Lo and Tayce created an immersive digital fashion experience called “Second Skin Couture.”
London-based Institute of Digital Fashion partnered with RuPaul’s Dragrace UK favorite Tayce and emerging designer Chet Lo for an IRL runway show with a URL twist. The immersive digital fashion experience dubbed “Second Skin Couture” brought Lo’s signature spikey, hand-knitted dress to life through an immersive AR filter. The IoDF team shared in a press release: “We believe in using technology as a democratic tool for change, therefore when it came to making the ‘Second Skin’ wearable we designed a garment to fit anybody, regardless of shape or gender.” The AR filter is available to download via Snapchat.
Bella Hadid entered the metaverse with an exclusive NFT collection.
Bella Hadid launched her first metaverse venture, an NFT collection aptly titled “CY-B3LLA.” In an Instagram post, she shared: “I believe this [project] provides a true opportunity to build a meta community, sustained by peace, love, compassion and meaningful connections.” In partnership with metaverse developer reBASE, “CY-B3LLA” comprises 11,111 NFTs, each containing a 3D scan of the model with the ability to meet her IRL at global events. With a rise in virtual avatars like Lil Miquela and imma.gram, the initiative contributes to an accelerated pivot towards digital influence for next-gen fanbases. To learn more about the project and receive updates, visit the official “CY-B3LLA” website.
Madonna and Beeple dropped three NFTs on SuperRare.
In an unlikely pairing, Madonna teamed up with Beeple for an exclusive NFT drop titled “Mother of Creation.” The NFT launch centers on three animated videos: “Mother of Nature,” “Mothe
r of Evolution” and “Mother of Technology.” In the series, viewers are guided by the musician’s narration which provides context to each of the pieces. Known for her continual reinvention, Madonna’s emergence into the digital arena sends a message to musicians and metaverse fans alike that the future of content creation is well underway. The NFT drop is available on SuperRare with proceeds going towards The Voices of Children Foundation, The City of Joy and Black Mama’s Bail Out.
Charli XCX teamed up with Samsung to release a custom metaverse experience on Roblox.
Another musician’s metaverse entry came from Charli XCX in her collaboration with Samsung and Roblox. The pop songstress created a metaverse experience dubbed “Superstar Galaxy” allowing fans to curate customizable stages and win a chance to perform with her, digitally. Charli XCX shares her intention for the collaboration in a press release stating: “The partnership is one that will give my community the access and ability to experience me in ways they previously have not been able to, which is extremely exciting.” Superstar Galaxy on Roblox is available in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Germany, U.K. and more.
MISBHV and Electronic Beats released an IRL x URL capsule collection.
Polish fashion label MISBHV dropped an exclusive capsule collection in collaboration with international music platform Electronic Beats, to celebrate the intersection of fashion and music. The creative direction and avatar design were led by pioneering cyberspace collective TRASHYMUSE who aims to bring digital self expression to the forefront of contemporary fashion labels. The collection includes a Telekom Electronic Beats skirt, cropped jacket, prosthetic heels, T-shirt, Digital Kitten headphones and more. The limited edition capsule dropped on May 12 with 100% of proceeds donated to support UNICEF Poland.
Pantone stepped into the metaverse with the help of Spatial Labs.
Pantone made a colorful splash into the digital world revealing a partnership with metaverse company Spatial Labs. The collaboration consists of a wearable device that will work to enhance Web3 color experiences. In a multi-pronged launch, the team aims to bridge the physical and digital with the Pantone’s SkinTone Guide allowing digital designers to create their own avatars. As a next step, the collaboration will launch a limited-edition clothing collection in the Spatial Labs universe.
Enjoy Being in Transition debuted a collection of digital shoes to advocate for mental health.
Blending the metaverse with mental health activism, Enjoy Being in Transition (EBIT) debuted a collection of digital shoes titled “Spectrum of Footwear [E010].” The collection seeks to raise awareness for the diverse spectrum of mental health conditions, with 10% of proceeds going towards the National Autistic Society charity. Created by the ex-director of JW Anderson, Simon Whitehouse, EBIT’s core ethos of supporting mental health through virtual fashion is a refreshing approach to the often cluttered metaverse landscape. The “Spectrum of Footwear [E010]” collection is available now on NFT marketplace THE DEMATERIALISED.
Gucci introduced cryptocurrency into its North American retail stores.
As one of the first luxury houses to embrace the metaverse, Gucci has continued to make waves across the Web3 ecosystem. This month, the brand announced that it will begin to accept cryptocurrency payments including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more. The blockchain service will be piloted in five U.S. stores with the aim to extend efforts to retail stores across North America later this summer. In digital retail news, Guc
ci Vault launched Gucci Town, a metaverse destination on Roblox where consumers can play games, buy skins and connect with Gucci community members.
RTFKT partnered with Takashi Murakami in a three-part exhibition.
A metaverse roundup wouldn’t be complete without the pioneering efforts of RTFKT Studios. After teasing an RTFKT x Nike apparel collection in late April, the virtual sneaker and collectibles team released 19 new creator versions of its “Space Drip” and Nike Air Force 1 NFT, allowing owners of the NFT to forge the new styles to their current collection. Elsewhere, the studio partnered with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami in a three-part exhibition at New York City-based art gallery Gagosian. The exhibition, titled “An Arrow through History,” aims to bridge the digital and analog worlds, with a series of paintings, sculptures and NFTs.
Prada announced an NFT collection and its own WEB3 community on Discord.
Prada introduced an NFT collection dubbed “Timecapsule” with accompanying physical products. The Timecapsule NFT will drop on June 2, with additional monthly releases in the works. According to the brand’s Instagram: “The item sold in the latest drop will feature a once-off unique shirt designed in collaboration with artist Cassius Hirst.” The announcement comes after a successful NFT collaboration with adidas earlier this year featuring 3,000 digital images produced by emerging creators. To coincide with the collection, Prada also announced the launch of its new WEB3 community on Discord called PradaCrypted.