Count Forever 21 as the next fashion brand to jump into the metaverse.
On Tuesday, the retail chain owned by SPARC, a joint venture between Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group, will launch the first Forever 21 Day, a monthly drop where it will introduce themed content and activities on Roblox, the online platform popular with fashion brands.
More from WWD
“We will come out of our beta launch and into our holiday/winter event,” said Katrina Glusac, chief merchandising officer at Forever 21. In January, customers will be offered the first glimpse of the company’s spring product on that month’s Forever 21 Day.
The retailer has partnered with Virtual Brand Group, a metaverse creation company, to build a Forever 21 Shop City, a “fashion retail experience” on Roblox, which is also working with brands as varied as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and PacSun to offer experiences.
“It’s all the rage,” Glusac said. “The metaverse is evolving at light speed. Forever 21 has always been on the forefront of connecting with our community through engagement. This is a social experience, not just a sales experience and becomes an infinite loop: Forever 21 stores and e-commerce and Roblox stores and experiences.”
The Forever 21 Shop City allows Roblox users to own and manage their own personal store where they can buy and sell Forever 21 apparel and accessories, hire non-player characters as employees and customize every aspect of the store as they strive to become the top shop in the experience.
As part of the deal, some of Roblox’s fashion influencers, led by @Builder_Boy, @Beeism, @OceanOrbsRBX, and @Jazzy_X3, have created exclusive items for Forever 21 Shop City, which will also feature personally designed stores by KrystinPlays, Shaylo and the Sopo Squad.
”They’re not the same creators as the ones in the fashion world, but they’re really well-known in their world,” Glusac said. “We want to cultivate and celebrate other talent out there and give back to the player community by providing a fun, cool experience.”
Glusac said this is “not just a holiday pop-up, but an experience that we hope will last. You create your own shop, curate your own store, run around and have fun — you have to hustle. This game changes fast like fast fashion and it’s a way to introduce our community to what’s going on at Forever 21.”
Going forward, she said the platform will also be used to introduce product and launch collaborations, some of which will be for sale.
“The metaverse is the most transformative innovation since the creation of the internet,” said Justin Hochberg, chief executive officer of VGB. “Roblox is one of the platforms creating the biggest business opportunities for brands with more than 50 million daily active users who socialize and live digital lives for hours every day. Our collaboration with Forever 21 marks not just one of the biggest metaverse launches this year, but also one that uniquely combines the physical and virtual worlds by delivering IRL content from Forever 21 in-game and finding ways for Roblox UGC creations to exist IRL.”
Earlier this month, Tommy Hilfiger partnered with eight user-generated content designers from the Roblox community to create and promote a Tommy x Roblox Creators collection, and Ralph Lauren created a Winter Escape holiday-themed experience on Roblox that features virtual Polo Shops where users can style their avatars and make purchases. Nike has worked with the company to create Nikeland, patterned after its world headquarters.