I’ve been hearing about how metaverse fashion is the future for a long time. I’m not convinced, but I was intrigued when I received an email about Forever 21’s first “metaverse-inspired” IRL collection. I thought it was a great idea.
Launched in December, the F21 Metaverse collection, as it’s officially called, consists of three actual pieces of clothing (a hoodie, a t-shirt, and a beanie) in black and pink with the word “Forever” highlighted in black or white. text As Prada demon Miranda Priestly would (sarcastically) say, that sure is “breaking.” Real-world items range in price from $14.99 ($21) to $29.99 ($42) and can be purchased in-store and online.
In a press release, Forever 21 said the collection was “designed with elements from the brand’s virtual offerings.” Notably, the “Forever” hat included in the collection is Forever 21’s best-selling product in its online store, called Shop City, on Roblox. Additionally, the company releases a new limited edition virtual item on Roblox every day in December, which will only be available for purchase for 24 hours.
“Using Roblox as a testing ground, Forever 21 has shown that there is an appetite for its offerings inside and outside of social gaming,” the company said in the statement, noting that Gen Z users base their avatar style on their IRL style. “Forever 21 is currently working on ways to connect virtual and physical elements through ‘fixital’ experiences.”
But honestly, this “phygital” (what a gross word, geez) collection is pretty boring. If you take away the beanie, which is an ordinary, albeit cute, beanie that stays within fashion norms, nothing in the collection would indicate that it was inspired by the metaverse. It would just be another batch of designer clothes.
I’m not exactly sure Forever 21 is entirely to blame here. The company designed the F21 collection for a customer in today’s physical world. Perhaps, for a line inspired by the metaverse, it should push the boundaries and venture into new territory. It’s not like I don’t have ideas. The brand’s accessories at Shop City, including its headbands, earrings and sunglasses, are delightful. She also has gems like her “Space Prom Dress,” which she could have used as a colorful jumping off point for new products.
Also, the virtual items it is launching alongside the collection packs a punch in terms of creativity and originality. There’s a candy and cake themed hat, a bejeweled spiked face cap and an ‘Ice Queen’ cap. I’d be much more excited to see any of these items IRL instead of “Forever” branded clothing.
I’m not surprised that this metaverse-inspired collection turns out to be more than anything we’ve ever seen. Forever 21 is a fast fashion company, after all. You don’t usually set future trends, follow them. That seems to be true for the metaverse as well.
Click through to see the F21 Metaverse collection and some of the limited edition virtual Forever 21 items will be released on Roblox throughout the month of December.