Gucci has announced plans to expand its presence in the metaverse through a new partnership with Yuga Labs, the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).
In a tweet posted on Monday, Gucci teased an upcoming collaboration with Yuga Labs, which included an image showcasing both brands’ logos on a bottle featured in the trailer for Otherside — a metaverse game developed by Yuga Labs based on Bored Ape.
The announcement said that the partnership would allow Gucci to “further explore the metaverse.” The tweet also explained that the collaboration would break down the barriers between “the physical and digital” worlds and create “a new narrative” in the process.
Continuing to explore the Metaverse, the House comes together with @yugalabs. Stay tuned as a new narrative takes shape, blurring the boundaries between the physical and digital. pic.twitter.com/v60mzcgqqY
— gucci (@gucci) March 27, 2023
While there is limited information about the collaboration, a representative from Yuga Labs has told Decrypt that the partnership will extend over multiple years.
Per the insider, the collaboration focuses on expanding “the engagement between their respective communities by exploring the intersection between fashion and entertainment in the metaverse.” The spokesperson also confirmed that the initial phase of the partnership is set to begin this week.
Gucci’s foray into digital space
Gucci has already established a presence in the metaverse through several initiatives, including a partnership with 10KTF, a digital fashion startup acquired by Yuga Labs last year.
Together, 10KTF and the luxury fashion powerhouse developed a digital clothing line called the Gucci Grail NFT collection. It features personalized NFTs designed by Alessandro Michele and crafted by digital artist Wagmi-san.
Robert Triefus, CEO of Gucci Vault and metaverse ventures, revealed to Business of Fashion that the high-end fashion brand wanted to play an active part in the ongoing narrative of Otherside and 10KTF with the multifaceted partnership with Yuga Labs.
During his speech at the BoF Professional Summit, Triefus explained that Gucci is keen on leveraging Web3 technology to create a community, fostering customer loyalty and driving sales in the long term.
While acknowledging the initial frenzy surrounding NFTs as a “wild west” period, Triefus also viewed the market’s recent downturn as a necessary correction from its peak in late 2021.
The Florence-based company has also become a leader in the fashion industry’s embrace of Web3 technology. Last year, it made quite a splash with numerous NFT collections created in collaboration with the celebrated animated figure designer and vinyl toy producer, Superplastic.
The final NFT collection, Guccighost, was released in September 2022, cementing Gucci’s reputation as a cutting-edge innovator in the digital art space.
Gucci has also teamed up with prominent figures such as Miley Cyrus to create a collection of digital wearables within the virtual gaming platform Roblox called Gucci Flora.
The luxury fashion house recently introduced Gucci Town Hub on the same platform. In September, it also launched Gucci Vault Land — a new hub within The Sandbox — to advance its exploration of the metaverse.
Gucci x ApeCoin
In August, Gucci made headlines by becoming the first retailer to accept ApeCoin, an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency linked to the Bored Ape network, as payment in select U.S. stores.
Gucci had earlier disclosed in May to Vogue Business about its plans to accept various leading cryptocurrencies in some stores, including Bitcoin ($BTC), Ethereum ($ETH), Dogecoin ($DOGE), Shiba Inu ($SHIB) and Litecoin ($LTC).
The payment process involves scanning a QR code with a crypto wallet using BitPay’s service.
ApeCoin was first introduced in March of last year as a cryptocurrency for supporting metaverse applications based on Yuga Labs’ BAYC — including the Otherside game.
Last July, the metaverse game Otherside provided a “first trip” demonstration to users who owned digital land plots known as Otherdeeds. Over the weekend, the company took gamers on a “second trip” through the Otherside realm, with more than 7,200 people playing together in the same game universe.