Metaverse Fashion Week wrapped up on March 31, and now, another consumer goods event is being added to the metaverse roster: Metaverse Beauty Week. Running from June 12-16, the first-ever event will be hosted on immersive social platforms Decentraland, Roblox and Spatial. Creative agency Cult LDN is organizing the week, which has included the participation of retailers and big-name and niche beauty brands.
The event’s organizers promise to take learnings from MVFW and improve upon them. “We’ve been planning [MBW] for quite some time now, inspired by the original Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week event,” said Bridey Lipscombe, CEO of Cult LDN and co-founder of Metaverse Beauty Week. “The success of Metaverse Fashion Week was in the gamification. Meanwhile, we are [prioritizing] experiences versus literal replications of real-life shops, which were not as successful [for Metaverse Fashion Week].”
MBW will host contests with physical and digital prizes. It will also offer wearable NFTs for in-game avatars, including hair and beauty features and emotes. In addition, there will be more traditional beauty activation elements like sampling and gifting.
Cult LDN says its main organizing principle for MBW is interoperability: the ability for multiple platforms to work together to allow brands and users access to the same event.
“Interoperability factors into this because that is ultimately where we see scale for these experiences for beauty brands,” said Lipscombe. Cult LDN began delving into web3 in December 2021, when it released an NFT collection from its creative team to raise money for the Turing Trust charity. It then created a wearable collection with digital fashion platform DressX in November 2022 and threw an accompanying event in Spatial.
The ad spending of brand marketers in metaverse spaces, particularly Decentraland’s first MVFW in 2022, drove the idea for a Metaverse Beauty Week. Although attendance at this year’s MVFW was far lower than 2022’s inaugural iteration, it remained a brand marketing opportunity and a chance to gather data on a younger set of customers engaging in digital spaces. In 2022, the event hosted 108,000 attendees. During its five days, more than 7,000 wearables were bought, totaling around $77,000. This year, the data focused more on engagement, namely how long users remained in the brands’ spaces and what they engaged with.
As the beauty industry is more well-suited to fast-paced iteration and testing, compared to fashion, MBW may be a more natural fit for its brand targets.
“That iterative culture is just ingrained into the nature of the beauty industry,” said Lipscombe. “And its innovation cycle attracts more progressive marketers into the industry. Often, you’ll see beauty [brands] be early adopters of new marketing techniques.” Through Cult LDN, Lipscombe has worked with multinational beauty company Coty for over 10 years, as well as fashion brands Burberry and Nike and beauty brands Covergirl and Elemis.
Although most of the details for MBW are still under wraps, the organizers shared that they’re testing different event formats as involved technology rapidly evolves. “We can only move as fast as the environments allow us to, so a lot of the conceptual ideas aren’t technically possible yet,” said Cat Turner, CCO of Cult LDN and co-founder of Metaverse Beauty Week. “We are working closely with Decentraland, Spatial and Roblox to be on the cusp of their fast-moving technology come June.”
With two months to go, the plan is to integrate IRL global brand events into MBW events across the participating platforms. “How do you smell in the metaverse? This is something we want to address as much as possible,” Turner said. “How can you have sampling and try the product out? We’re looking at how we take those sensory aspects of beauty and bring them to life within the limitations of a digital environment.”
For the brands, Metaverse Beauty Week will be an opportunity to test the strength of their brand image and marketing in a dedicated environment.
“The brands and retailers we’re working with are trying to be timely, too. With this coming out in June, it’s about what they are doing with their brand at the time,” said Turner. “That way, they can [align] their [featured] experience and products with what they’re doing across other touchpoints, so it is relevant to their current brand strategy.”
The event will be promoted by brands on their platforms, as well as across the MBW socials leading up to and during the event. MBW organizers will also focus on engaging with web3 communities on their native platforms like Twitter, as well as education and breaking down barriers across Instagram and TikTok for traditional audiences.
“Communicating to consumers on traditional channels is something we’ve been doing for 10 years,” said Turner. “For us, success is scale, understanding and enjoyment. Ultimately, it’s rewriting the rulebook for self-expression.”
Retailers, niche and big brands will be able to access customer data, footfall, engagement and purchase journeys through data acquired by Cult LDN after the event. Guests interested in the event can sign up on the Metaverse Beauty Week page. The full program will be announced over the coming weeks.