Last update on: 9:35 am July 9, 2024 by fashionabc

Per Morgan Stanley, Web 3.0 revenue opportunities for the fashion and luxury industries could amount to $50 billion by 2030 with NFTs and social gaming offering the main areas for growth. So it’s not surprising that Kering-owned luxury fashion brand Gucci was among the first to embrace technology and has continually evolved to be in sync with the new generation while staying true to its brand identity. The Italian fashion house cemented itself as an early adopter of the metaverse in June 2021 starting with a $25,000 art film auctioned by Christie’s. Since, Gucci has become one of luxury fashion’s most prominent brands on the metaverse. This includes Gucci Vault Land on The Sandbox and Gucci Town on Roblox. Additionally, Gucci has continually launched virtual art and fashion events and integrated its products into gaming platforms such as Animal Crossing and Fortnite.

In March 2022, Gucci collaborated with digital artist Wagmi-san and his virtual store, 10KTF. Together, they unveiled ’10KTF Gucci Grail’, a curated collection of bespoke NFTs, conceptualised by Alessandro Michele and brought to life by Wagmi-san. The partnership paved the way to Gucci Grail Mint Pass, exclusively available to 5,000 members of the Gucci, 10KTF, and 11 PFP collections communities. Two months later, Gucci integrated cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin within its payment system in the United States. Over 70 per cent of its directly operated stores accept cryptocurrency, with plans for further expansion. To facilitate in-store crypto payments, Gucci e-mails a QR code to customers which allows them to make payments directly from their crypto wallets. The payment can then be automatically converted into fiat currency or retained as cryptocurrency. This initiative showcases Gucci as a heritage fashion brand with a future that has the ability to evolve and bridge Web3 with its physical presence and offerings.

2022 also witnessed Gucci appointing Robert Triefus as CEO of Gucci Vault and Metaverse Ventures, a division designed to scale and expand the Kering-owned luxury fashion brand’s metaverse and gaming strategies. Per a company release: ‘Triefus’ experience and expertise will help shape Gucci’s strategy in these strategic areas that he helped build, having worked hand-in-hand with the respective teams, crafting the house’s approach and positioning in the gaming and Web3 sectors as well as in the launch the Gucci Vault project.’

Gucci’s commitment to embracing new technologies provides consumers with an enhanced brand experience and this is further highlighted with the launch of Gucci Gaming Academy in collaboration with competitive gaming platform FACEIT. The initiative, a first of its kind created by a luxury fashion brand, is designed to support aspiring gaming talent by cultivating their skills and amplifying their opportunities. With the support of World Health Organization, this initiative also focuses on addressing the increasing mental and physical issues that gamers face from the pressure of in-game performance.

In an interview with Vogue Business, François-Henri Pinault, President of Gucci’s parent company, Kering, explained that they have a team dedicated to building the presence of Gucci on the metaverse which includes rewarding NFT holders with exclusive physical products for investing in the community. It’s the newest way luxury fashion brands are evolving their NFT strategies and rewarding those who bought in. Per Vogue Business: “The pieces will only be available to people who own a Gucci Vault Material NFT, given a year ago to holders of the Gucci Grail NFTs, which are the PFPs dressed in digital Gucci through a partnership with narrative NFT project 10KTF in March 2022… Web3 communities have come to anticipate that mysterious gifts like this one will eventually manifest into future perks… The NFT owners will soon be able to trade in their Material NFTs for their choice of one of the two items, at no additional cost.”

Gucci’s entry into the crypto art world was marked by the launch of Vault Art Space, an online gallery in partnership with digital art marketplace, SuperRare. The inaugural exhibition, “The Next 100 Years of Gucci” showcased the works of 29 artists tasked with reflecting on Gucci’s century-long legacy and envisioning its future for the next one. This exhibition was presented and auctioned in three drops through July 2022 on the Vault. Last year, a multi-year collaboration with blockchain technology company Yuga Labs extended Gucci Continuum x Vans on Gucci Vault to Roblox through a unique scavenger hunt.

And- two years after its initial collaboration- Gucci once again collaborated with Christie’s to launch a collaborative on-chain auction showcasing 21 NFTs by digital artists such as Claire Silver, Tyler Hobbs, Emily Xie, Botto, William Mapan, Zach Lieberman and several others. The artists explored themes ranging from generative textile studies to algorithmic interpretations of the famous Gucci Bamboo 1947 handle. “The result is a pioneering take, with many female-artists’ perspectives, on the many opportunities at the cutting-edge of creativity and technology” said the companies in a joint statement. “It’s an invitation to avant-garde thinking, with the motivation to propel radical new ideas and concepts around fashion’s supporting technologies toward future realities.”

Image: Gucci

Fashion retail is undoubtedly facing up to an exciting future where elements of the real and the virtual world have begun converging to provide potential consumers with exciting retail experiences. Gucci’s strategic immersion into the Web3 space is a clear indication of its forward-thinking approach, seamlessly combining the luxury fashion brand’s rich heritage with digitalisation. Gucci recognizes that Web3 presence is a powerful tool to engage new customers and reconnect with existing ones, showcasing its dynamic character and ability to innovate with changing times.