Tommy Hilfiger is taking a step towards interoperability with a multi-metaverse hub that will premiere during Metaverse Fashion Week. Bringing together key metaverse destinations Decentraland, Roblox, Spatial, DressX and Ready Player Me, from 28 to 31 March, Tommy Hilfiger will open a space within Decentraland that includes connections to all these other platforms. This will allow the brand to find out how users respond when they can access the same brand across different platforms.
The hub, structured to look like the brand’s TH monogram, is designed by virtual retail tech developer Emperia and includes a host of in-hub offerings. Consumers can find POAPs and other NFTs to collect, DressX-powered digital fashion, artwork from Web3 artist Vinnie Hager, AR virtual try-on offerings, a photobooth and an AI fashion creation competition (the winner of which will be selected by Tommy Hilfiger). From this monolith hub, users can also find gateways to the various metaverses to explore each, all while wearing a digital Tommy Hilfiger jacket.
Fusing brand identity and Tommy Hilfiger design codes into the experience was key, says Jemma Spiers-Ware, senior director 3D experience, digital product at parent company PVH. “Our two key symbols, the TH Monogram and Tommy Varsity Letterman Jacket, have become recognisable staples of Metaverse Fashion Week,” she says. Tommy Hilfiger’s red, white and blue brand colours feature throughout the different spaces.
The PVH-owned brand is no stranger to the metaverse. In September 2022, it hosted a Roblox show alongside its physical New York Fashion Week show. Show attendees could claim a free NFT. Tommy Play, the brand’s Roblox destination, is one of fashion’s metaverse mainstays. In December, Tommy Hilfiger was one of seven American designers to drop NFTs with the Council of Fashion Designers of America in celebration of its 60th anniversary. Now, the brand is debuting its hub for its return to Metaverse Fashion Week.
It’s about testing and learning, Spiers-Ware says. “Exploring opportunities at the intersection of fashion and technology, we can test and discover what the community expects from us while inviting the first wave of movers to join this exciting journey with us.”
If successful, it’s a win for interoperability, which refers to connecting virtual worlds so users can move freely between them. This capability has been long called for by metaverse and Web3 denizens, but has proven difficult to achieve. Tommy Hilfiger’s hub offers a less-daunting entrypoint into metaverse spaces. By making it accessible via Decentraland (where MVFW is hosted), it saves users from having to go to a variety of new spaces — and they won’t have to download additional hardware to do so. Walking through a Tommy-branded gateway into Roblox or Spatial makes for a more streamlined user journey.
“One of the major problems with the metaverse, as a concept today, is the distribution across multiple platforms, none of which speak to each other or integrate into brands’ existing digital channels,” Emperia co-founder and CEO Olga Dogadkina says. “By creating an interoperable approach, we’re able to bridge this gap and bring multi-world experiences into the brands’ Web3 and e-commerce strategy — while keeping their existing Web2 user base involved.”
Users will still need to head to one initial metaverse destination (Decentraland), which will likely invite less novice visitors than, say, access via the brand’s e-commerce site. However, interoperability is key to wider adoption, Dogadkina says. “Market education and seamless onboarding of users is a necessity for 3D and immersive experiences to become mainstream.”
One perk of standalone virtual stores and spaces is the data insights they can offer brands. Through Tommy Hilfiger’s hub, Emperia is able to track user activity to better gauge user journey and interest across the brand’s different metaverse offerings. This cross-data approach is a first, as brands have previously been unable to access insights into non-brand-owned platforms. Granted, there will still be limitations on what insights Tommy Hilfiger can garner once the user exits the hub into the external metaverse platform, but the centralised cross-platform navigation insights provide a deeper level of insight than brands have previously been able to gain.
The hub also incorporates e-commerce capabilities, creating a direct link between the marketing element of metaverse projects and actual, physical (and digital) sales. Four items, the Tommy varsity jacket included, will be featured across platforms, with different renderings in each. They’ll be available for purchase in physical (via linked ecommerce) and digital (via DressX) forms. The physical version can be purchased within the hub, while users will have to head to the Ready Player Me metaverse to acquire the digital version, which can then be worn across environments.
The aim is to utilise Emperia’s technical capabilities, paired with data insights, to improve the user journey and metaverse engagement. The view is that these will then translate into improved brand loyalty and e-commerce performance, Dogadkina says.
This offering might only be available for the duration of Metaverse Fashion Week, but that’s not to say it won’t lay the groundwork for a more permanent connective fixture in the future. “This is an exciting first step in our journey towards connecting across multiple platforms and it’s a great moment for us to test and learn, which is a cornerstone of our strategy,” Spiers-Ware says.
Tommy Hilfiger’s metaverse activity aligns with the brand’s forward-looking outlook, says Martijn Hagman, CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe — and the plan is to keep pushing forward in this space. “Tommy Hilfiger has always been a brand that brings people together through fashion, art, music and entertainment,” he says. “Today, Web3 and metaverse platforms are supercharging the brand’s ability to do that at an exciting scale. When you combine this with our public commitment to lead in inclusivity and environmental sustainability, you can clearly understand why we will keep pioneering in this space in the years to come.”
Source: Vogue Business