As one of the world’s most popular brands, Gucci has capitalized on the multi-billion dollar sneaker market by dropping new logo-heavy silhouettes and remixing winning styles to keep things fresh. The Italian company’s latest kicks are its most egalitarian to date, weighing in at a mere $11.99 USD, but you’ll never be able to wear them.
Having already dipped into the digital footwear realm, the luxury fashion house Gucci is now launching a series of augmented reality (AR) sneakers. This is part of a major push from parent Kering to keep at the forefront of virtual reality trends.
To accomplish this, Gucci has once again collaborated with Belarus-based fashion-tech company Wanna, known for manipulating AR to create three-dimensional models that can be used for digital sneakers and watches fittings. Wanna is no stranger to the fashion and tech world, having worked with brands such as Reebok, Puma and Snapchat to test out the consumer response to virtually trying on clothing. Previously, Gucci has worked with Wanna to digitalize its AR sneaker “try-ons” in the Gucci app.
Gucci has shown great success adapting to the virtual clothing world, having already imagined gear for popular children’s game Roblox and style-conscious diversions such as Drest, Sims 4 and even Pokémon Go. With its virtual shoes, Gucci plans to target tech-savvy Gen Z consumers who may not yet be able to afford Gucci’s physical products. The shoes debuted on Wanna are in fact the hyper-real sneakers, Gucci Virtual 25, first revealed on Gucci’s sneaker garage in 2020.
The digital Gucci shoe, which goes for either $8.99 USD on Wanna’s app or $11.99 USD on Gucci’s app, is poised to reach a broader audience range. Gucci plans on selling the digital sneakers as a part of an access pack that allows users to try on the shoe virtually by taking a picture or a video and unlocking the shoe on Roblox. This initiative will remain affordable as Gucci and Wanna have promised an unlimited quantity of shoes that are interchangeable between consumers. Both companies are currently working to devise trading capabilities that may boost the value of these digital sneakers once introduced.
In recent weeks, the virtual trading world has made headlines with non-fungible tokens, drawing some truly eye-watering figures at auction. Wanna CEO Sergey Arkhangelskiy predicts that NFT and AR technology will only continue to grow in the near future. “In five or maybe 10 years a relatively big chunk of fashion brands revenue will come from digital products,” Arkhangelskiy told The Business of Fashion. “Our goal as a company is to actually supersede the product photos … and substitute it for something which is way more engaging and closer to offline shopping.”
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