Meta is launching an online store to sell fashion for its virtual avatars, and industry heavyweights Balenciaga, Prada and Thom Browne will be the first brands to join.
In a live announcement on Instagram Friday, founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg joined Eva Chen, Meta’s vice president of fashion and shopping partnerships, to share the news and offer a glimpse of what Meta’s new avatar fashion will look like. Chen held up images to the camera showing Zuckerberg’s cartoonish Meta avatar in different looks, including a Balenciaga motorcycle suit, a white anorak and shorts from Prada’s Linea Rossa line and one of Thom Browne’s signature grey suits.
The virtual designs will be available for use on Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. Meta plans to expand them to its virtual-reality platform and to introduce additional brands soon. The Avatar Store will begin rolling out next week in the US, Canada, Mexico and Thailand, Meta said in a press release.
Meta has allowed users to create their own avatars since 2019 and has steadily rolled out updates and new features like the 3D avatars it introduced earlier this year. It currently offers free outfits for users to style their digital selves. The next step, Zuckerberg said today, will be a marketplace Meta is building for them to buy items from a range of designers.
”That way, all different kinds of creators over time are going to be able to participate and design clothing and sell it,” he said during the livestream on Instagram.
How much the items will cost has yet to be revealed.
Zuckerberg has emphasised that fashion will be an important part of the immersive fusion of the physical and digital worlds it’s trying to build. Recently he travelled to Milan to drum up support among Italy’s fashion leaders.
So far, fashion companies seem open to the advances.
”Web3 and Meta are bringing unprecedented opportunities for Balenciaga, our audience, and our products, opening up new territories for luxury,” Balenciaga CEO Cédric Charbit said in a statement.
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