The oldest department store in Switzerland is the first in this country to venture into the meta-verse. Jelmoli has set up a showroom in its branch on Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse, where you can see and buy handmade clothes in real and virtual form through VR glasses. The goal of the project is to combine the benefits of classic retail with new technologies and review scenarios for future shopping.
The project runs for a month and is the result of the collaboration between Jelmoli, the marketing agency Zeam, which specializes in particularly young target groups, and the textile college STF. Their students designed 11 different “fashion pieces” – from coats to T-shirts to hippie pants – and produced a total of 137 clothes. In addition, the students have created virtual counterparts for the individual pieces, which can be seen in the virtual showroom either floating freely or on avatars.
More Oculus headset stand in showroom from Jelmoli ready. (Source: zVg)
The virtual showroom – in the store and at home
On the occasion of the opening of the showroom, there was also a virtual fashion show. Anyone who put one of the available Oculus glasses on their head could navigate through the digital space with the controllers in hand and click on individual garments to learn more about them. However, this does not necessarily require a VR headset: the showroom can also be explored on a computer, tablet or smartphone – access to this can be found on Jelmoli’s website.
So ser that showroom by personal computer out. (Source: Screenshot oncyber.io/zeam?coords=0,49×2,77x-3,07×2,23)
For the department store chain, the project is primarily an experiment. “Nobody knows where the journey will lead – and that’s okay,” says Cécile Moser, Head of Marketing & Communication at Jelmoli. “For us as a department store, this is above all a test. We want to find out what the road to a new consumer world could look like, what is possible on this new playing field and to gain experience.” In addition, the company would like to offer itself as a partner in the future if other companies should report a need for similar projects. “We would be ready in terms of know-how and infrastructure.”
Cecile bogs, Main of marketing & communication Jelmoli. (Source: zVg)
However, it is still unclear what exactly can be imagined under the term “metavers”. Jo Dietrich, CEO of Zeam, approached the question. “When you combine games with social media, you’re in Metaverset,” he said. However, that is only the beginning. An entire branch of the economy is currently emerging that is supposed to revolve around the transmission and monetization of virtual content. This is done using digital certificates called non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Yes Lockpick, Manager from Zeam. (Source: zVg)
What the fashion industry wants to do with NFTs
Currently, NFT projects are mostly gimmicks, although sometimes a lot of money is involved, as Dietrich said. As an example, he mentioned the highly traded NFT collection “Bored Ape Yacht Club” – digital images of cartoon monkeys with dull expressions that sometimes changed hands at absurdly high prices. However, the big fashion brands have long been geared towards business-related purposes: in late April, for example, Nike released an NFT collection of sneaker images. According to Dietrich, it is quite conceivable that one day the manufacturer will only sell physical shoes together with a virtual counterpart – and not just as a treat on top, but as a certificate of authenticity. This, for example, to take action against trade in counterfeit goods.
If you want to get into Metaverse, you do not necessarily have to deal with NFTs. With cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, it is – at least if you want to buy something. This can also be done in Jelmoli’s virtual showroom: 5 pieces of clothing are for sale as part of the collection, which can only be purchased including NFT via the OpenSea trading platform. The price for the individual pieces is the same as in the store – except that you do not pay in francs, but in ether. If you do not yet have a crypto wallet, a Zeam employee can introduce you to the case in the Jelmoli showroom and also help you open a Metamask wallet.
To team from Zeam. (Source: zVg)
Metaverse showroom can be experienced on the 1st floor at Jelmoli in Zurich until 8 July.
Incidentally: In March, Jelmoli entered into a partnership with Sharely. In the future, the department store wants to rent out a selection of products via the online sharing platform.