A bi-weekly newsletter diving into the concepts, people and brands who are shaping the future of fashion, beauty and retail.
Welcome back to Foresight!
Building on the NFT craze, today we’re talking about an interesting new marketplace for digital wearable NFTs that was created in part by Vancouver-based Dapper Labs (we love a homegrown Canadian tech startup!), that’s set to launch in beta this summer. The potential for fashion brands in the avatar space seems to have caught the attention of only a few luxury houses so far, but with 60% of avatar users (specifically in the gaming sector) claiming they’ve purchased digital clothing for their avatars (HS Fashion x Gaming White Paper, 2021), this is worth paying attention to.
We’re also looking at beauty brands building in-house entertainment studios with the tremendous increase in video consumption over the past few years and as another way to have an authentic voice in a crowded market. I also want to encourage you to read about the creation of Degree’s deodorant for consumers with disabilities below. Inclusivity has a an incredible role to play in the future of all industries and I thought this was a strong step forward for the brand.
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IDEAS, INSIGHTS & FORWARD THINKING PERSPECTIVES
The Amazon of digital wearable NFTs?
Genies, a tech company who connects celebrities with fans using personalized avatars, will launch the “Genies Marketplace” on Dapper Labs blockchain network (Flow) where those stars can create and sell digital wearable collections. Aiming to be the “Amazon of Digital Wearable NFTs,” digital collections will be available for fans’ avatars in virtual reality settings. Genies has previously partnered with celebrities including Rihanna, Shawn Mendes, and Cardi B, who’ve used their personalized avatars to connect with fans in alternative ways like announcing partnerships and new music drops. Most recently, Justin Bieber promoted his partnership with Amazon Music with a Genies avatar version of himself.
The collaboration is Dapper Labs first major new partnership announcement since it’s hugely successful blockchain-based platform that allows fans to buy, sell, and trade licensed video highlights, NBA Top Shot. Although this might seem like a niche market, the opportunity is substantial when you look at Facebook-owned Giphy who has more than 700 million users using animated GIFs on social platforms daily. Genies is also planning to have hundreds of partnerships in motion later this year through its Avatar and NFT software, which will allow people to use their Genie avatar as a virtual identity across the internet. Given the video-fatigue we’re all feeling, a personalized avatar seems fresh and full of opportunity.
Should beauty brands invest in entertainment studios?
Earlier this year, Japanese skincare brand SK-II, opened a global film studio where the brand will work with internationally acclaimed filmmakers, animators, musicians, and content creators to produce films dedicated to female empowerment. Neutrogena is taking a similar route with the launch of an entertainment division, Neutrogena Studios, signalling a trend for brands to bring creative and multimedia production in-house as a competitive edge in an intensely competitive market. “With consumers spending more time at home this past year, online video consumption quadrupled and users plan to maintain these higher levels increasing the value of video and inspiring more inventive storytelling.” While consumer trust in mainstream social networks such as Facebook and TV continues to decrease, brands with an authentic voice are in a great position to step in and fill the gap. “With long-format video, you have an opportunity to tell a story and not just throw facts at somebody. This story really humanizes some of the work that we’re doing.”
Other beauty brands are integrating content studios into retail spaces to drive brand awareness with consumer-generated content. We’ve seen this implemented by Haus Laboratories, Beautycounter, and Morphe as a way to connect people socially, create a space for audience engagement, and bring a much needed wave of digital to in-person retail. Whether it’s short-form, long-form, pre-recorded or live, video is where it’s at and the in-house content studio is one more way for brands to genuinely connect with consumers in an authentic way.