The holistically experienced collection will simultaneously be available in-store, online, and inside the Forever 21 Shop City experience on popular virtual world gaming platform Roblox. Young kids spend a serious amount of time and money creating their true representations inside virtual worlds. Outlining the importance of self-expression within the virtual realm, one fifth of Roblox’s daily active users, which means around 8.6 million gamers, update their avatar every day. Forever 21 has partnered with Virtual Brand Group, a web3 fashion design, game development and retail company, to create its online retail presence within Roblox. The fashion industry is approaching the metaverse and virtual world experiences as the next frontier for digital brand experiences, engaging shoppers with virtual avatar skins and wearables that empower them to express their individuality.
Some brands have already grasped the opportunity through digital clothes, products and NFTs, empowering Gen Alphas with freedom of representation when it comes to their avatars and digital spaces. The digital garments and virtual accessories developed for the limited-edition Barbie Summer 2022 Collection will feature real-world inspired details including embossed art, beadwork, and textured fabrics. The two brands are encouraging shoppers who visit the Forever 21 Shop City experience to use the #TwinWithYourAvatar hashtag to become a part of the Forever 21 x Barbie community as they build out their virtual identity. The IRL and virtual collection includes apparel, swimwear, sleepwear, accessories, cosmetics and Barbie DreamHouse-inspired home decor. It takes advantage of Roblox’s Layered Clothing technology that allows for “hyper-realistic 3D clothing” that fits any avatar.
Forever 21 will also be offering the Barbie Fashionistas™ doll as part of the metaverse experience. The Fashionistas line is the most diverse doll line Barbie offers, and further celebrates an inclusive view of beauty and fashion by representing a wide and empowering range of body types, skin tones, eye colors, and other unique physical traits.
The retailer isn’t the only brand taking advantage of the Roblox-based metaverse opportunity. Brands like American Eagle, Gucci, and Tommy Hilfiger are also expanding their efforts across the platform to run virtual storefronts and uniquely engage with shoppers.
This article originally appeared in the PSFK iQ Report, Connecting with Gen Alpha.