Music, art, Hollywood, beauty… Fashion has always found itself entangled with all different aspects of culture and entertainment. It’s latest obsession though is the pinnacle of modern-day at-home leisure: video games. And more specifically, Roblox.
In case you’re not down with what the cool kids – and we mean literal kids as the biggest bracket of users are 12 and under – are doing these days, here’s a quick explanation of what Roblox is. Half social half gaming platform, Roblox calls itself the “ultimate virtual universe” where its users can create their own spaces, socialise with other users, play games (they call them “experiences”) as well as earn and spend virtual money, cleverly enough called Robux. Essentially, its Club Penguin 2.0 except infinitely developed.
Now that you’re all caught up, here’s where fashion comes into play. It all started in 2020 with Gucci, when the Italian luxury brand made its way onto the platform to create merch to dress your avatars in as well as creating a Gucci Sneaker Garage group. The merch sold for 200 Robux, which is the rough equivalent of $2.30. While this may seem like an insignificant price to own a Gucci tee, albeit virtual, Roblux clothing usually runs between 2 and 5 Robux. Luxury means luxury pricing, even if it’s digital.
While Roblox has been around since 2006, its popularity exploded during the pandemic, and fashion brands have been trying to figure out ways of jumping on the hype since Gucci dived in head first. In late 2021, Ralph Lauren launched a virtual event and space, as well as offering exclusive styles at the in-game Polo Shops. There was Givenchy’s Beauty House, Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy Play and its NYFW livestream, Nike’s Nikeland, Carolina Herrera’s $5,000 virtual SS23 gown, the latest Vans x Gucci pair up as part of the ongoing in-app Gucci Vault… The list goes on.
Fashion’s obsession with youth isn’t anything new. What started as putting 15 year old models on the runway for a womenswear show has now turned into working with Roblox, the biggest video game and pastime for Gen Alpha, whose members span from 13 years old to being born in 2 years time.
So why exactly is fashion targeting a platform used by a generation who barely has any buying power? Well most of them don’t, yet, but their sneakily ‘borrowed’ parents’ credit cards sure do. Fashion means business and Roblox is a gateway to big bucks. As of this year’s Q1 Roblox reported having over 67 million active daily users and a revenue of $2.2 billion in 2022, a number that is expected to double by the end of this year.
With a society that is going more and more digital, fashion, which boils down to physical garments, is having to adapt to survive. Roblox is the perfect answer: it has a massive community that keeps on growing and who’s obsessed with dressing its avatars to the nines and digital products are much cheaper to produce than the physical thing. It’s a win-win situation for both the platform and the brands, both taking home their share of the profits.
Though the biggest advantage and takeaway for fashion brands on Roblox still remains the platforms’ millions of users who also happen to be the next generation with buying power. There’s no day like today to prepare for the next decade, especially when money is involved.
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