Are you looking for a new handbag? Kate Spade’s virtual townhouse has you sorted

What happened: The American fashion house Kate Spade has announced the opening of an interactive virtual pop-up store and invites its customers to immerse themselves in the experience. The retail space, designed to be an exact replica of the brand’s New York townhouse, is an extension of the brand’s Fall 2022 campaign, complete with playful perks and exclusive merchandise.

Users will be able to access the project online via Spade’s website from September 7, where they can dive into a digitally rendered apartment building and explore multiple interactive activities – players can create their own custom wallpapers from designs by Kate Spade, contribute to the line’s “Wall of Kindness” and listen to music on virtual discs. In-game, customers will also have the option to purchase one of three exclusive purses that are, for now, available nowhere else but in the digital world: the Patisserie 3D Croissant Pouch, the Mini Tote -everything Sam Icon and the little Dottie bucket bag. .

The Jing plug: This is Kate Spade’s very first project in the Metaverse. But as more companies around the world begin to ramp up their Web3 activations, a rapid first drop in NFT is no longer effective in getting people talking – something Spade apparently understood. Enter the era of gamification. Recognizing the growing consumer interest in interactive activities that bridge the virtual to IRL, Spade’s latest concept not only taps into a growing trend, but also incentivizes it by offering exclusive products along the way.

Pairing the benefits of gaming with a unique approach to brand storytelling sounds appealing. However, the task of encouraging the public to engage with the project in the first place poses its own challenges. The company has yet to do much to market the upcoming experience via its social media platforms; with the company having no pre-existing presence in the digital realm, it can be difficult to cultivate an active subscriber base ready to participate in the concept in time for its release.

The virtual townhouse is a digital counterpart to the brand’s pop-up building in New York that opened in April. Photo: Kate Spade

Although the townhouse represents a first for Kate Spade, the idea itself is not new. Retail pop-ups have recently started making waves in the digital landscape. From Zero10’s interdimensional AR-powered store to Tommy Hilfiger’s virtual retail outlet in Decentraland, Web3’s takeover ushers in a new era of shopping spaces online — and even offline.

Although Spade’s project is just a trial run, it symbolizes something bigger on the fashion industry’s horizon. The way we buy is changing, and it’s all thanks to the metaverse.

The Jing Plug reports on high-profile news and features our editorial team’s analysis of key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product declines and mergers to heated debates popping up on Chinese social media.

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