16 Gucci Town
For forging a new kind of retail community in the metaverse
Not content to merely dominate the IRL world of fashion, Gucci has staked its claim in the metaverse—cementing the Italian company’s somewhat unexpected status as a trailblazer of digital transformation and incubator of exploration. Talk about fashion-forward.
The 101-year-old fashion house made its first foray into the immersive online world with Gucci Garden. Inspired by the vision of celebrated creative director Alessandro Michele, it attracted more than 20 million users in just two weeks and snagged the brand a Webby Award for its surreal design and sticky UX. But the 2021 pop-up was also a win for “its ability to build a sense of community … and Gucci’s virtual goods instantly becoming signifiers of belonging to a group of users with shared values,” Gucci Vault CEO Nicolas Oudinot told Women’s Wear Daily.
So less than a year after first dipping its well-pedicured toes into the metaverse, Gucci plunged all in. Gucci Town, the brand’s permanent presence on Roblox, threw open its virtual doors in May 2022—and fashionistas around the world nearly lost their minds. Designed around a central piazza, the space features areas for Gucci-inspired games, avatar selfies with models in fashion shoots and the Vault, which like its namesake site, showcases Gucci’s latest product drops and collaborations. At the Gucci Shop, avatars can purchase limited edition and archive-inspired virtual accessories and collectibles.
Gucci Town racked up more than 34.6 million visitors in a matter of months, including a headline-grabbing debut by Miley Cyrus. In August, the pop star made an appearance as the brand’s first celebrity avatar persona, playing games and snapping selfies alongside fans while promoting one of the company’s fragrances. Gucci also allows users to buy a metaverse-based bottle of the scent for around US$5, then wear it as a backpack. That’s certainly small change for the high-end retailer, but it’s a smart way to seed early loyalty in the next generation of consumers, especially as more retailers—from Nike to Burberry—open shops in the metaverse.