Luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren has announced its partnership with social networking and avatar simulation app Zepeto.
The app allows users to function in a fully articulated virtual world where they can socialise with others using a customisable 3D avatar. Users will be able to purchase a completely digital Ralph Lauren clothing collection, reminiscent of its physical apparel, giving users the opportunity to dress their 3D avatars in exclusive products.
The Ralph Lauren x Zepeto collection will feature 12 looks in total, with over 50 unique items on offer, including a mix of vintage Polo Ralph Lauren designs and pieces from its current summer collection. Shoppers will be able to get their virtual hands on limited edition skateboards and other special pieces exclusively designed for the collection.
In addition, players will also have access to a Ralph Lauren themed virtual world, including digital versions of three iconic brand locations such as the Madison Avenue Flagship and Ralph’s Coffee Shop. The interactive spaces aim to celebrate the brand, encasing its attitude and spirit in a digital sphere.
“Ralph Lauren’s new partnership with Zepeto further demonstrates our belief that innovating in virtual worlds is essential to engaging the next generation of consumers,” said Alice Delahunt, Ralph Lauren’s chief digital officer, in a release. “Ralph Lauren has always embraced new environments, and we’re excited to push the boundaries in this emerging arena. Making our product available to purchase and wear digitally and allowing consumers to experience the brand in immersive new ways is the next frontier.”
Augmented reality fashion took off last year whilst the world faced a global lockdown, seeing homebound individuals take to avatar games like Animal Crossing as a substitute for the outside world. Major fashion brands like Valentino and Marc Jacobs jumped on the trend, designing outfits players could access through a code so they could dress their virtual selves in the latest designer pieces.
This is also not the first time Ralph Lauren has dived into the world of augmented reality and digital products. The brand has previously released a collection of Bitmoji’s, worked with Snapchat’s virtual reality technology and, more recently, partnered with G2 Esports on a luxury collection for an esports gaming team.
To celebrate the launch of the Zepeto partnership, K-Pop band Tomorrow X Together will be hosting a live virtual event at the Ralph Lauren flagship store on Madison Avenue. The band will interact with visitors through their Zepeto avatar, with each virtual member wearing pieces from the collection.