With Forever 21 and Barbie’s latest collaboration, shoppers can experience the collection in real life or through the metaverse.
The companies used Roblox’s Layered Clothing technology that allows for “hyper-realistic 3D clothing” that fits any avatar.
"Barbie, a SoCal native plays in the same inclusive, empowering and fashionable space that our customers love, appreciate and have come to expect from our business," Winnie Park, CEO of Forever 21, said in a statement. "We are thrilled to offer shoppers unexpected line extensions that include Barbie in-store and online and virtual fashions in the metaverse.”
Leading up to the launch of The Barbie Summer 2022 collection, Forever 21 has tried to reach customers both online and offline. Last month, the retailer debuted its "Forever LA – A Little LA in All of Us" campaign, which it promoted across 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 partnered with Roblox last year to create the Forever 21 Shop City, a digital environment in which users and fashion influencers run virtual storefronts and compete for the top spot.
For many brands and retailers, the opportunity to reach a growing user base and profit from digital goods has been too good to pass up. But, even though companies are diving headfirst into the metaverse, it remains to be seen just how much the public will understand and interact with the idea.
Earlier this year, Gartner cautioned companies against investing too much into one part of the amorphous concept, because it has yet to be fully formed. According to a survey from Piper Sandler released in April, 48% of teens said they aren't sure about or aren't interested in the metaverse. Plus, 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 carries sizes XS through 3XL, with an additional assortment for kids, and ranges in price from $6.99 to $54.99. The retailer will also feature the Barbie Fashionistas line of Barbie dolls, which represents various body types, skin tones and eye colors, among other characteristics.