Sales of real estate in the metaverse topped over $500 million last year with indices that could double this year. Investors and analytics firms, however, hold that the recent surge in sales was sparked by Facebook’s Oct. 28 announcement that it was rebranding as Meta to focus on the metaverse. The Sandbox and Decentraland have become a new area of focus for brands and designers as the metaverse platforms enable people to buy, rent out and develop virtual real estate, including stores and event venues, as well as sell virtual goods. In late March, Decentraland will host a Metaverse Fashion Week during which a range of luxury, high street brands, and independent designers are expected to show virtual goods, some of which can be purchased both digitally and physically.
The Big Leap
Gucci has displayed a more consolidated interest in its commitment to the metaverse after the designer clothing brand announced recently that it bought an undisclosed amount of virtual land on the decentralized blockchain game (The Sandbox). Gucci will create themed experiences on The Sandbox inspired by its “Gucci Vault” platform, which lists items like Gucci-themed NFTs and vintage bags. In addition to a fashion-focused metaverse space, Gucci also will be releasing fashion items for Sandbox players to purchase and wear in the game’s virtual reality. “For a new generation of players, virtual fashion is as important as real-life fashion,” Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox, said in a statement.
From recent activity within the company, this isn’t the first time Gucci has licensed items for virtual wear. It previously partnered with two Roblox developers to release an official clothing collection in December 2020. Gucci also created a virtual space on Roblox called the “Gucci Garden Experience.” Notably, some of the Roblox items ended up being scalped and resold for thousands of dollars.
Gucci, which remains at the forefront of fashion brands, turning to Metaverse, is quite a big one irrespective of the fact that other Big Merger Companies have tailed this path. In May 2021, it was the first luxury brand to present an NFT at auction through Christie’s. Gucci’s experience on Roblox also gained attention after someone spent more than $4000 on a Gucci bag which was about $1000 in direct comparison to the bag’s actual value.
What Gucci didn’t Disclose
Over the years, Gucci has been re-engineering its metaverse strategy and is a notable early adopter of digital fashion, virtual worlds, and NFTs. Most recently, Gucci partnered with “animated celebrities” company Superplastic to release a collection of 500 NFTs (made up of 10 total designs). Called “Supergucci”, it includes a three-part drop of NFTs that come with physical ceramic sculptures, each priced at 1.5 Ethereum.
The drops began on 1 February, with purchase access limited to previous owners of Superplastic’s NFTs and those with a special access code provided via Gucci Vault’s Discord server. A third public drop was planned but has since been postponed amid concerns of bots claiming all the NFTs. SuperPlastic and Gucci are keeping 20 of the NFTs for internal use, according to the brand. The next big news to hit the Metaverse world after this recent activity by Gucci may likely be who it shares its neighborhood with.