Still, fashion fans remain “incredibly underserved” in the games space, says Tilting Point founder and CEO Kevin Segalla. “When Tommy approached us with the FashionVerse idea, we knew immediately this was a huge opportunity we couldn’t pass up.” Hilfiger Ventures is a private investment firm founded by Hilfiger and Joe Lamastra (who is also the founding managing partner at Sandbridge Capital, which has invested in Thom Browne, The RealReal, Ilia and Henry Rose). It primarily focuses on media and entertainment — companies that are not directly linked to fashion, Hilfiger says.

The game will launch not just in Google Play and Apple’s App Store, but also in the Netflix app, for immediate availability to Netflix’s more than 247 million members (using the same recommendation engine as it does for video).

FashionVerse has found early success testing in Southeast Asia, Germany and Italy, where it ranked in the top 10, beating Roblox. The median age of players is 30, and they spend on average about 23 minutes a day, cumulatively, in the FashionVerse app, Shell says.

The team is still considering how and if it would incorporate commerce into FashionVerse, meaning the ability to buy the physical corresponding twins of in-game looks, Shell says. Drest, for example, already offers this, and Roblox says that it will be introducing this capability by 2025. For now, Shell says, most commerce integrations have been limited to features that invite players to click out to e-commerce product pages, which could result in lower engagement and decreased time spent.

These types of partnerships would be free to begin, but going forward, FashionVerse will explore monetising them, Shell says. While the game can feature apparel that has already been digitised using 3D tools (such as CLo3d or Marvelous Designer), FashionVerse can also do it for them. (Companies such as PVH, which owns the Tommy Hilfiger brand, are the rare exception in terms of fashion brands with an already robust 3D workflow.)

In discussions with industry peers, Hilfiger says that reactions have been mixed. The early adopters get it, he says, while sceptics are par for the course. “Most people are very intrigued, and a lot of people who are advanced in their thinking absolutely love it. But there are some people who are a little hesitant. People who are innovative and who are out in front of the curve embracing the culture and creating great creative marketing content really get it.”

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