How Gucci is leading the metaverse with web3 enablement
First of all, I want to declare that Gucci is among my top favorite luxury brands so I might be biased here... but what I love about Gucci is how bold and forward-thinking the brand has become in the past few years. In this deep dive, I will take you through their top activations in the #Web3 & #Metaverse space and dig deeper into why brands should care about these emerging technologies and how Gucci has taken the bull by the horns.
Gucci's Latest NFTs and Metaverse Projects
Gucci is a luxury Italian clothing brand easily recognizable as one of the highest-selling fashion brands, with over 270 locations worldwide. As the world progresses into innovations like the metaverse and NFTs , Gucci is taking the lead by being the first luxury brand to host a metaverse experience in The Sandbox.
Gucci & The Metaverse Explained
The metaverse is a buzzword in the media after gaining popularity when Facebook was renamed "Meta," following the company's vision for the metaverse. However, the metaverse is not new, we have actually had a metaverse since the early days of the internet. If you recall the game Second Life? no, maybe this will refresh your memory.
This was basically the first online video game with open worlds where players can build replicas of themselves, interact with each other, and build things in the world. It was first released in 2003. Fortunately, the technology infrastructure has evolved so much since then that the metaverse is no-longer catering only to the Dwight Schrute's of the world. Thanks to a whole subset of technologies such as Artificial intelligence, Web3, and of course, the unfathomable computing power in the pocket of every consumer, the metaverse is emerging a lot more sophisticated than in those early days and it's here to stay.
Today the most promising gaming studios are developing life-like immersive virtual experiences with applications in entrainment and beyond. Another branch of the metaverse is augmented reality, which also has one of the biggest tech giants Apple is betting on. The goal here instead of total immersion is to infuse virtual and physical experiences. Whichever route you take the ideal metaverse will allow users to interact with each other from their location and have a more organic experience with the internet and how we interact with each other. These emerging digital worlds open up a new market for digital products, and to achieve true digital ownership of these new class of assets you need Web3.
What's impressive about Gucci's strategy is that they are hitting all these targets with their series of activations. From Gucci the Value that enables fans to play games, learn the history of Gucci and collect NFT rewards to pure digital products with physical interplay. The brand seems to have went all in on this strategic direction, and that's probably for a good reason. The investment bank Morgan Stanley predicting that digital fashion would be worth $50 billion by 2030, luxury brands like Gucci are making the most of the trend by taking the first-mover advantage.
François-Henri Pinault, President of Gucci's parent company, Kerring, revealed that Kering has a team fully dedicated to building the presence of Gucci and BALENCIAGA in web3 and the metaverse. In an interview with Vogue, he stated three strategic ways to leverage the metaverse for luxury. These include providing NFTs linked to physical products or virtual products and smart contracts which yield revenue from secondary sales.
Although the CEO affirms that the metaverse is still in its early stages, he's confident that innovation is best adopted early. In line with the philosophy of making the best use of an opportunity rather than waiting to see what becomes of the innovation, Gucci has led the park of the world's greatest designers to emerge as the first to launch an NFT brand in the sandbox metaverse.
Gucci x SUPERPLASTIC
In February 2022, Gucci and SUPERPLASTIC® announced their first NFT project partnership on SuperGuccci NFTs. The project involved combining a mix of Gucci's patterns with animated characters from SUPERPLASTIC. Janku and Guigimon were selected for the NFT project, and both characters sold for over $20 million.
Upcoming collaborative goals include releasing a limited edition of Guggimon NFT and a handcrafted ceramic sculpture made at the Bitossi factory in Italy. This collection was made available only to VIP holders. The partnership between Gucci and SUPERPLASTIC for this project aims to establish a solid presence in the web3 space.
Users who had a SUPERGUCCI Janky NFT got an exclusive SUPERGUCCI Guggimon NFT airdropped to their wallets. These enabled them to get premium access to a luxurious ceramic Guggimon sculpture shipped to them as a finishing step in the digital meets physical SUPERGUCCI collection.
10KTF Gucci Grail
Gucci’s latest metaverse partnership is with 10KTF, an NFT project that includes a virtual floating “New Tokyo” world, fashion accessories for purchase by profile picture NFT owners and a fictional character called Wagmi-San, a play on the Web 3.0 phrase “wagmi”, short for “we are all going to make it”.
Gucci collaborated with one of the most iconic NFT collections out there, this includes Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and their family of collections, World of Women, Cool Cats, The Wolf Game, to name a few. What was unique about this campaign that it was more focused on Web3 insider community, only owners of these select NFTs were able to participate in this campaign.
Through an entertaining fictional story and designed worlds, owners of these NFTs were able to to redeem a crystal ball NFT, which acted as a key to give them access to a unique version of their favorite NFT avatar draped with Gucci Gear, giving them an exclusive and truly unique 10KFT Gucci Grail avatar.
Okay, I am with you; this seems overtly complex and non-inclusive for most Gucci fans. But, you have to keep in mind that the collections chosen by Gucci are one of the most iconic in the NFT world, and having them decked out with Gucci-branded clothing is excellent exposure for the brand. Better yet, these unique arts are utilized to decorate Gucci's Vault, the metaverse experience on the Sandbox, which is open to the public.
Gucci x Sandbox
Gucci is not only offering NFT products with relevant utility and privileges, but it's also diving into real estate in the metaverse. Gucci chose Sandbox, a metaverse platform, to create its virtual real estate.
In its recent Milan runway show, Gucci referenced its engagement with the Sandbox via grids and pixelated texts fully describing the aesthetics of the Sandbox. Further, Gucci is in a partnership with Adidas, a fellow metaverse adopter, and their partnership was displayed in art form on some of the fashion pieces on the runway.
The experimental store, Gucci Vault Land, was made available from October 27 to November 9. Users can access a 360° play-to-know themed game experience. Players get to win exclusive rewards and SAND– the currency of The Sandbox. The vault was built on Sandbox and is run on the Ethereum blockchain.
Creative Director Alessandro Michele designed the vault, representing a superior selection of rare vintage Gucci pieces, the conversation among contemporary creators and the House, the passion lighting up each artwork, and the combination of different facets with the power of community. The vault experience was envisioned to serve as an avenue to educate the web3 community on Gucci’s heritage via gamification and reward them with NFTs.
Your experience in the vault can begin at the "Garden of Curiosities," where you pass through a grand entrance to a hall where multiple adventures await you. Expect twists and turns as you journey through the heritage of the Gucci brand. Users also get digital collectibles that owners can display in their virtual lands.
Other Notable Projects
Gucci x SuperRare
Gucci paid $25,000 in RARE tokens to join the SuperRareDAO. Gucci launched the "Vault Art Space" exhibition with its buy-in, which included a selection of NFT works by 29 artists.
The exhibition, dubbed "The Next 100 Years of Gucci," is a collection of valuable artworks reflecting Gucci's history and future. The collaboration is the fashion house's first participation in a DAO and grants them administrative authority inside the SuperRare community. The exhibition was on view and was immediately auctioned off on Vault's website hosted by Gucci in three drops. The first drop occurred on June 23, and the last drop occurred in July ending.
Gucci Town is a virtual place on Roblox created for those who want to explore the unusual. It's an experience to learn more about Gucci, its history, and Alessandro Michele's stylistic direction. Gucci Town is an in-game entryway modeled like an Italian piazza, an open-air area that has functioned as a meeting place for centuries.
Some notable locations include Mini Game Heights, Vault Plaza, Creative Corner, Selfie Way, Craftsmanship Court, Power-up Place, and the Gucci Shop. This isn't a game with objectives and avatar improvements; it's more of an experience. Visitors may engage in mini-game competitions for GG Gems, find and create original pieces of art, learn about the history and craftsmanship of Gucci, and, of course, purchase digital Gucci goods to collect and style their Roblox avatars in stylish attire.
The Bottom Line
The metaverse, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies are some of the latest trends in the world and aren't showing any signs of going extinct. Gucci is taking the lead in the fashion industry by being the first to set up a virtual world in a metaverse platform like the Sandbox & Roblox. Gucci has more projects lined up for the metaverse experience, and fans should expect more exciting and thrilling announcements regarding their web3 projects with time!
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