American fashion house Ralph Lauren Corp. is diving deep into the metaverse by launching a new fashion line with one of the most popular games online, Fortnite.
Drawing inspiration from designs of the 1990s, the “Polo Stadium Collection” includes a limited run of physical hoodies, sweatshirts, sweatpants, button-down shirts, polo shirts and caps, with some items available on 2 November, and others releasing in early December. Prices will range from $59.50 to $188. The clothing features a mashup of the Polo logo with its iconic jockey riding the Fortnite llama. This marks the first time in Ralph Lauren’s 55-year history that the logo has been redesigned.
There will be digital outfits for sale in-game from 5 November through 12 November, for around 1500 VBUX, or the equivalent of about $6, as well as a la carte accessories.
Rapper Polo G. kicks off launch festivities with a livestreamed concert for fans on Nov. 3. The luxury brand’s retro-preppy items have become a hot collectible in the hip-hop community.
The company has been reinventing itself for Gen Z through various collaborations in the metaverse, including one last holiday season with the gaming platform Roblox Corp. Ralph Lauren Chief Executive Officer Patrice Louvet credits young customers for pushing online sales to 26% of revenue, and expects that figure to reach about 33% over the next several years. Looking ahead to the next three years, the company has set full-year revenue targets that exceed Wall Street estimates, and is planning to raise prices while it pivots away from discounting and focuses on building its next generation of customers.
Chief Branding and Innovation Officer David Lauren said he sees growth coming from immersive marketing experiences in spaces where young people gather — like video games.
“They’re not going to walk into a store like their parents did, so we want to create something joyous where the brand can be discovered in a fresh light,” he said. “It’s not about selling millions, it’s about selling to a targeted audience of influencers.”
Digital apparel is big business for Epic Games Inc.’s Fortnite, with collaborations including deals with Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel, the NFL and Nike Inc. generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue, according to Forbes. The game currently has more than 400 million registered accounts worldwide.