The “phygital” concept is being quickly adopted by brands, retailers and designers alike. It envisions the merging of physical and digital activities, such as physical events shown in the digital world and vice versa. Incorporating this concept into various marketing strategies has been adopted by a number of notable brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, who implemented the concept at their recent New York Fashion Week event by running a real-life fashion show alongside a Metaverse-based event on Roblox.
As new Metaverse platforms evolve and adapt, so will fashion’s place in the digital world. However, for some, the industry will be at the heart of their vision and values, and thus dictate the culture of a particular virtual world.
Swagga, a newly formed metaverse, hopes to help shape the future of fashion in this rapidly changing environment. Formed through Blocverse DAO’s recent acquisition of Swagga Studio, the Japan-based company combines Swagga Studio’s intellectual property (IP) capabilities with the P2E project Blocwars. The decentralized autonomous organization, a community-led entity, aims to use the Swagga platform as a space on which to build its immersive experience for brands and users, fusing fashion and e-commerce with social networking.
Speaking to FashionUnited, Swagga Founder and CEO Ryo explained the platform’s concept: “Swagga is built on the foundation of exploring the Web3, the connections between fashion brands and artists and the rich experience in the development of non-fungible tokens (NFT ) IP established. Together we will create a phygital metaverse that combines the elements of fashion, entertainment, social networking and e-commerce, bridging the gap between web2 and web3 for a wider audience worldwide.”
Swagga wants to turn “likes” into customer values
The Metaverse is based on a “swag-to-earn” concept that allows gamers to earn revenue by showing off what they own in the digital world, essentially converting social “likes” into value. As the game progresses, they can increase their Fashion, Amusement, and Social Index (FAS) by attending fashion events, socializing, and engaging in activities. Each of the three indices is ranked, allowing players to collect “swag points” on a daily basis and receive rewards in return.
Swagga hopes that this concept appeals to both users and brands and provides an incentive for both. As well as players, fashion brands can also apply to the platform and set up their own facilities such as shops or offices, or develop further in-game collaborations such as co-branding with Swagga’s Onimaru NFTs. As part of its “phygital” concept, Swagga aims to offer both physical and digital products across clothing and footwear, with other future plans revolving around Web3 and brick-and-mortar stores. The company has already begun realizing its phygital presence in the form of in-person exhibitions in Japan, where a number of its Onimaru figurines have been exhibited in collaboration with various artists.
However, Ryo noted that Swagga’s focus will be on developing Web2.5, the intermediate step between Web2 and Web3: “Our goal is not just to build a Metaverse platform, but a Metaverse ecosystem that allows users to: inside, the industry and the world,” he said, adding that his FAS concept will be an important part of his Web2.5 goals. Part of this is lowering the barriers that Web3 creates by offering a greater choice of payment methods, allowing Web2 users to work with methods they are familiar with, and barriers for both players and users for brands out of the way.
Building a Metaverse ecosystem
The focus on promoting fashion in the digital world will also be reflected in collaborations and partnerships with academic institutions, for example by hosting joint design competitions in Swagga. On the subject, Ryo said, “With these collaborations, we can offer young designers and creatives a global stage to showcase their talents and breathe new blood and innovative ideas into the Metaverse. On the other hand, collaborating with academic institutions is also another way to increase the impact of Swagga among Web2 users.”
Swagga underscores fashion’s place in its metaverse as brands increasingly seek to enter the digital space across multiple platforms. The global metaverse market was valued at $40 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach $1.6 trillion by 2030, according to Precedence Research. According to another report by Research and Markets, the market opportunity on Metaverse platforms could reach $224.9 billion by 2027.
Fashion brands looking to capitalize on this projected growth can leverage a wide range of capabilities including branding, marketing and e-commerce experiences through Web3 as the combination of fashion and the metaverse creates a range of new opportunities. “Looking at the trend in the digital world where immersive technologies are rapidly increasing in both software and wearable hardware, the need for immersive spatial entertainment could become a necessity,” said Ryo. “There users will no longer be bound by their gender, race or nationality and will be able to connect with whoever they want.”
Ultimately, Ryo’s vision for Swagga is to develop a visualized immersive infrastructure where gamers and brands enter a standardized metaverse where they can express themselves and “live another life”.
This translated article originally appeared on FashionUnited.uk.