In an increasingly blurry line between digital and real, the ever-growing metaverse means virtual goods and fashion are no longer a gamers niche and instead a trend accessible to all.

The concept may be confusing for some. Non-tangible, tangible-goods, selling for realistic market prices in a virtual world? 

The trend has been adopted by a wide range of luxury fashion houses including Gucci, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton to name a few. The emerging industry destroys preconceptions of the metaverse as a platform solely used by gamers or crypto-investors. In the age of the pandemic where online interactions have increased three-fold, an online identity for everyone has moved from a niche concept to a normalised hype.

In a report by The ScreenWear Paper, it was found individuals who are meta-established (those partaking in the metaverse in some way) are three times more likely to purchase virtual goods, including digital fashion, than those who aren’t.

For those who are deemed meta-curious, digital fashion remains a top priority for first-time purchases. The primary reason to buy digital fashion, found in the report, was established as a want to create an online identity. 

Digital fashion will become a vital revenue stream for every fashion retailer

Matthew Drinkwater LCF Digital Innovator

Ralph Lauren became one such fashion house to launch an exclusive line on the global gaming platform, Roblox. The “Winter Escape” collection, launched in December 2021, allowed players to purchase retro ski-inspired fashion while performing certain activities including ice skating, decorating a Christmas tree and making hot chocolate.

Ralph Lauren’s Winter Collection is available on Roblox. | Source: Robb Report
Source: VentureBeat

Launched in 2006, Roblox today is reported to have an average of 43.2 million daily users, an increase of 14 million users since 2016. The top-selling items in accessories included headphones, hair accessories and Roblox classic shirts.

A selection of classic Roblox fashion items is available for purchase | Source: Tech Crunch

The heavy online traffic represents an incredible opportunity to tap into a new market, for a multitude of already established luxury brands.

Roblox is no stranger to high-end fashion, with Gucci collaborating with the platform in 2021, to create a virtual Florence Palazzo. The installation allowed players to wander through a fully immersive Gucci-Garden.

Stills from the immersive Gucci Garden | Source: Roblox Blog

Roblox described the collaboration as a chance to bring ‘out of reach’ fashion and art to a platform accessible for millions of people. 

With no signs of slowing down, digital fashion is predicted to be a key component of shaping people’s virtual identities in the coming years.

By GABRIELLE BECERRA MELLET