The fast-fashion brand will sell physical replicas of virtual items

Forever 21 is bringing the metaverse to life—at least when it comes to popular products like hoodies and beanies. The fast-fashion chain, which has been undergoing a rebrand to regain relevance with consumers, will debut a physical collection of products inspired by its metaverse shop on Roblox.

Available in stores and online beginning on Dec. 1, the “F21 Metaverse Collection” will include a series of hoodies, accessories and t-shirts that were tested in the virtual world on consumer avatars in Forever 21’s Roblox store.

“Our initial goal with Forever 21 Shop City was to expand how we engage with our customers and make our products accessible to all,” said Forever 21 CEO Winnie Park in a statement, noting that items like a beanie hat were so popular in Roblox that it makes sense to include them ina real-life collection.

The move is an example of how the metaverse is no longer just an area for brands to only explore virtually. Instead, offerings on Roblox and online are providing a treasure trove of consumer data for brands to mine and use to inform real-life product decisions. Many brands are looking to how consumers behave on Roblox shops—what they buy, what they gravitate toward—and how they interact with virtual 3D stores online—how much time they spend in each area and how they answer quizzes—as they plan out future marketing and merchandise.

“(Retailers ] know they can’t put all their eggs into the offline world or put all their eggs into the online world,” Chris Bruderle, VP of research and insights at the Interactive Advertising Bureau, recently told Ad Age. “They’re testing and learning in these virtual experiences that combine both.”

Forever 21 is not the only retailer merging virtual with physical. Competitor Pacsun, which also operates a store on Roblox, has been tracking consumer purchases in the metaverse as it considers real-life products.

“We’re always crowdsourcing on Roblox and seeing what’s popular there,” Tyler MacDonald, senior manager of influencers and social media at Pacsun, recently told Ad Age.