<p>Cédric Charbit speaks at Business of Fashion Voices</p>

Cédric Charbit speaks at Business of Fashion Voices

Balenciaga to create team dedicated to Metaverse opportunities

CEO Cédric Charbit says the metaverse could ‘transform’ the way customers shop

Saman Javed
Friday 03 December 2021 15:08

Balenciaga has announced plans to create a team dedicated to exploring marketing and commerce opportunities in the “metaverse”.

Speaking at Business of Fashion’s Voices – an annual conference which brings together key figures from the fashion industry – Balenciaga CEO Cédric Charbit said the unit will work to engage customers through virtual reality and transform the way they shop.

A metaverse is a virtual world where people can game, work, shop and communicate. It combines virtual reality and augmented reality technology.

“The use-ability [of digital fashion] is the point that’s missing, but that’s making gigantic steps every day,” Charbit said.

“Right now the climax of interaction with a luxury brand is that you click like, or comment or buy something. I think we can get to a next level.”

It is not the first time Balenciaga has taken steps towards a virtual fashion landscape.

In December 2020, the fashion house released Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow, a video game featuring its Fall 2021 collection.

Also, this year Balenciaga collaborated with Epic Games to create four high-fashion skins that Fortnite players could purchase for their avatars.

Vivienne Westwood speaks at Business of Fashion Voices

Also at Voices, which is taking place at Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, Dame Vivienne Westwood delivered a keynote speech telling attendees that she believes the “war economy” and capitalism are responsible for the climate crisis.

“The whole world is in competition with itself to outsell itself, creating better and smarter weapons,” Westwood said.

“War is a major polluter and our major waste. Temperature is rising. As we saw at Cop26, without cooperation, nothing can be done.

“We don’t have time. Governments will crash the whole world rather than submit to popular demand for peace. Tomorrow is too late. SOS.”

Tommy Hilfiger also took to the stage to discuss the brand’s focus on “adaptive fashion” which aims to be inclusive of differently-abled people.

“It makes me upset seeing large companies not opening doors for the world,” Hilfiger said.

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