Explore your calling as a fashion designer, play virtual games or shop till you drop in Gucci Town!
On May 17, 2021, Gucci launched Gucci Garden—a two-week pop-up store on metaverse platform Roblox. The luxury brand displayed some of its most coveted items and invited users to drop their avatars and reapproach their sartorial sensibilities from a blank slate. The pop-up was an ode to the brand’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele, and over 20 million users visited it. In an interview, Chief Marketing Officer Robert Triefus expounded, “In the last six years, [Michele] has created a Gucci Metaverse but it’s not necessarily a digital manifestation, it’s a narrative.”
Following that, this year, the brand has taken a more permanent position in the metaverse by building Gucci Town, a virtual marketplace, on Roblox. It continues to be inspired by Michele’s vision for Gucci, urging users to explore and expand their individuality.
The trappings that define the virtual town
Dotted with buildings, themed rooms, a café and more, Gucci Town is a case study of the many possibilities presented by virtual real estate. The town is a circular space marked by a lush green garden. It has been designed in partnership with user-generated content (UGC) creators Rook Vanguard, Bunnexh and Lirn. From Gucci’s iconic Blondie bags and stylish outfits to game sets and skateboards—there are various staples on offer in Gucci Town.
Additionally, the different spots across town allow you to revel in your various interests. For instance, in the Gucci Vault, users can look at Gucci’s exhibition of its latest products and collaborations. In Mini Game Heights, they can compete in games to earn virtual currency, GG Gems. There’s also a Creative Corner where users can view and build art pieces that they can call their own. In the café, Power-up Place, players can interact with other users who are into Gucci. And finally, in the Gucci Shop, users can shop for and try on sought-after items virtually.
The virtual clothing trials are made possible with Roblox’s “layered clothing” technology, allowing users to try on pieces as they would in the real world. The Vice President of Global Partnerships at Roblox, Christina Wootton, expounds, “The clothing instantaneously responds to [an] infinite combination of body parts, movements and virtual worlds on Roblox.”
How fans have responded to this new venture
As glamorous as Gucci Town may sound, not everyone is on board. While some are dubbing it yet “another advertisement” by Gucci, others feel that this town is only worth visiting if users end up with some “real Gucci” items as rewards. Some Twitter users are questioning the concept altogether, given that Roblox is a platform typically used by kids.
They believe that both Roblox and Gucci are neglecting the metaverse platform’s main audience and introducing games that are not relevant to them. Roblox’s loyal fans feel that the platform is ignoring their wants repeatedly. This cold-shouldering might lead to some leaving the platform altogether.
Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri believes that the doubters do not understand the full potential of the metaverse. He acknowledges that there are also skeptics who question the metaverse experience and its relationship with luxury brands. However, according to him, “Digital collectibles are a drop in an ocean whose boundaries are yet to be defined.”
What lies ahead for Gucci Town
As for its plans with Gucci Town, the brand’s Executive Vice President of New Businesses, Nicolas Oudinot, points to the importance of community collaboration, a central tenet in the blockchain world. He shares, “Emerging content creators and talents from the Roblox community will be on board, while we will infuse the ecosystem with new ideas and visual stimuli.”
Moreover, as of February 2022, Gucci has purchased a plot of land in The Sandbox metaverse. The brand will reimagine its Vault for the virtual world. Though there is no clarity on what it would offer, experts assume that it would allow users to browse its collections and purchase items.
Gucci Town gives us a preview of what the brand’s metaverse could be like in The Sandbox. If it’s anything like what Gucci Town is shaping up to be, we are already intrigued.
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Header Image by Gucci