Forever 21 and Barbie are launching a summer collection available in the metaverse


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Diving Brief:

  • Forever 21 has teamed up with Barbie by Mattel to present the limited-edition Barbie Summer 2022 collection featuring Barbie DreamHouse-inspired apparel, swimwear, sleepwear, accessories, cosmetics and home décor, the retailer announced on Tuesday. The collection will be available online, in stores, and in the Forever 21 Shop City on Roblox.
  • Forever 21 enlisted Virtual Brand Group, a fashion design, game development, and Web3 retail company, to create its presence within Roblox.
  • The digital representation of the Forever 21 x Barbie collection features details such as embossed art, beading and textured fabrics on her dresses, hoodies and other clothing and accessories. Shoppers can follow the #TwinWithYourAvatar trend on social media.

Overview of the dive:

With Forever 21 and Barbie’s latest collab, shoppers can experience the collection in real life or through the metaverse.

The companies used Roblox’s layered clothing technology which allows for “hyperrealistic 3D clothing” that adapts to any avatar.

“SoCal native Barbie performs in the same inclusive, empowering and fashionable space that our customers love, appreciate and expect from our company,” Forever 21 CEO Winnie Park said in a statement. “We’re excited to bring shoppers unexpected line extensions that include Barbie fashion in-store, online and virtual across the metaverse.”

Ahead of the launch of The Barbie Summer 2022 collection, Forever 21 tried to reach customers online and offline. Last month, the retailer made its debut “Forever LA – A Little LA in All of Us” campaign, which it promoted on its retail, e-commerce and metaverse channels.

Joined by other brands like american eagle, Gucci and Tommy Hilfiger in expanding efforts on the platform, Forever 21 in partnership with Roblox last year to create Forever 21 Shop City, a digital environment in which fashion users and influencers run virtual storefronts and compete for the top spot.

For many brands and retailers, the ability to reach a growing user base and take advantage of digital goods was too good to pass up. But, even if companies dive headfirst into the metaverse, it remains to be seen how well the public will understand and interact with the idea.

Earlier this year, Gartner warned companies against investing too much in one part of the amorphous concept, because it has not yet been fully formed. According an investigation by Piper Sandler released in April, 48% of teens said they weren’t sure or interested in the Metaverse. Additionally, a recent Wunderman Thompson Intelligence Survey found that 74% of respondents had heard of the Metaverse, but only 15% could articulate what the concept means.

The Barbie Summer 2002 collection offers sizes XS to 3XL, with an additional assortment for children, and prices ranging from $6.99 to $54.99. The retailer will also carry the Fashionistas Barbie line of Barbie dolls, which represent various body types, skin tones and eye colors, among other characteristics.


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