Many players in the fashion and luxury industries have already been seduced by this new world where, for the moment, anything seems possible. Nike, adidas and Balenciaga have already launched, or are working on, their own iterations of the metaverse, with plans to present collections or even stage fashion shows, to sell NFTs, and, more broadly, to showcase their worlds, their DNA, and better interact with customers. And in these parallel universes, user avatars are generally seen wearing clothes. So if you’re going to dress your avatar, you might as well do it with style. But the same logic seems more difficult to apply to cosmetic brands hoping to carve out a place, since makeup is not — or is much less — something everyone uses or wants to use. But this hasn’t stopped some brands from making remarkable breakthroughs, showing the potential that these new worlds can offer.
Experimentation and creativity
When the pandemic caused retail stores to close, cosmetic brands had to accelerate their transition to the virtual world, doubling down on initiatives to ensure that their customers did not give up on their beauty routines. As a result, apps offering virtual makeup testing — essentially based on augmented reality — started springing up during lockdown, giving everyone the opportunity to experiment with different shades of foundation, lipstick and nail polish before buying them directly online. It’s precisely this technology, along with the now ubiquitous filters found on many social networks, that is, or will be, echoed in these virtual worlds.
The South Korean metaverse Zepeto, launched by Naver Z Corp, has already partnered with several beauty brands, such as Nars, which offers several makeup looks, and Dior Beauté, which presents looks created exclusively by Peter Philips, creative and image director of the luxury brand. That alone could be enough to entice more than one beauty addict into these new worlds. Especially since they also open up a field of endless possibilities to budding creatives, who can test a host of beauty looks without ever having to show them off in the real world.
NFTs and livestream shopping
As well as promoting their products in the metaverse, brands can also offer NFTs, which are on the rise. Nars plus Givenchy Parfums and Clinique are among the companies that have already unveiled non-fungible tokens. And these could multiply at great speed in this brave new world, whether to offer exclusive and rare products, or to show cosmetics through the eyes of different artists.
In a bid to get ever-closer to their customers and to offer them interactive and immersive experiences, brands could also rely on their own metaverses to run livestream shopping sessions. These online events are booming all over the world, especially in China. And it’s a phenomenon that could take a new direction thanks to the metaverse and its world of possibilities.