Replete with its own castle (nodding to the brand’s late founder Hubert de Givenchy’s stately home), metro station and pool, the Givenchy Beauty House gives users the possibility of making up their own avatars’ faces, and winning virtual fashion accessories and contests.
It is due to go live on June 13.
Romain Spitzer, chief executive officer of Givenchy Parfums, said in an exclusive interview that the move is part of the brand’s ongoing strategy that involves “exploring new universes, digital gaming and also social platforms.”
He added it is key for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Givenchy — whether in beauty or in fashion — to remain “the house of audacity.”
“It’s important to be the first in things we do,” said Spitzer, explaining: “Not for the sake of being the first. Each time, it’s all about the consumer, about targeting the right consumer or the future consumer where [she or] he is.”
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The Givenchy Beauty House, rich in saturated colors, is like a magic kingdom surrounded by a cityscape. Visitors there wander through the castle-cum-gaming universe. Central to this is the Irresistible dance floor, where avatars can show off moves choreographed specifically for the space. (Irresistible is one of the house’s bestselling fragrances.)
Once every minute, a burst of powder wafts onto the dance floor, winking to Givenchy’s iconic Prisme Libre product.
Avatars can virtually style and apply their color cosmetics in a makeup station.
“That’s really the interest and the distinctive thing about that universe,” said Spitzer, who explained it will ultimately be possible for someone to present a face chart in the real world that corresponds to their avatar’s makeup looks in order to buy the products in store.
“The strategy is really, this is an ecosystem — virtual, physical. It is seamless,” he said.
There is also the possibility of finding like-minded souls.
“You can invite your friends. You’re connected with other players,” said Yacout El Glaoui, chief marketing officer of Givenchy Parfums.
Avatars with an adventurous spirit can descend into the L’Interdit subway station, taking its name from another of Givenchy’s emblematic perfumes, and created as a darker, more mysterious atmosphere. (There are no virtual subways here, however, since they’re banned for security reasons from Roblox.)
Every Paris metro has a photo booth to snap ID shots, and it’s no different for the one in Givenchy’s. In a nearby vending machine, an avatar can win a virtual Le Rouge lipstick crossbody bag.
In all, there will be five digital items fans can earn within the experience. These include a branded cap and padlock chain — each inspired by Givenchy fashion.
“There will be very limited quantities, because that has high value,” Spitzer said.
Available, too, are to be makeup contests for avatars, which must replicate a look linked to a specific theme to win an item. Those involved can parade on a catwalk, where the best looks will be voted on.
“This will be a living landscape,” added Spitzer, who said — for instance — during Christmastime, the Givenchy Beauty House can appear different than today. Fragrance and skin care might also pop up in the immersive realm, in newfangled ways.
“It can become a communication platform, where we could imagine that we have an avant-premiere launch or specific [product] discoveries,” he said.
Givenchy Parfums collaborated on its Roblox universe with The Gang, a Swedish developer studio.
Today, rising consumers are also firmly entrenched on Roblox, where players create and modulate virtual worlds.
“It’s really talking to a future generation of consumers — very young people that can have access to the brand in a very different way: approachable, playful, super immersive and interactive with the brand,” Spitzer said.
With such initiatives, customization and a high experiential factor are key, too.
Roblox has more than 50 million daily active users and an almost on-par mix of female and male players. Fifty-two percent of the community is older than 13 years, and the fastest-growing cohort is the 17- to 24-year-old set.
In the quest for self-expression, one in five of the gaming platform’s daily active users updated their avatars daily in 2021.
Spitzer added that the Givenchy project in Roblox is “all about exploring and also having access to our key products that we want our new consumers or new prospects to have access to, but in a completely different way.”
In most ways, there are no rules in the metaverse.
“It’s a completely new universe, and the potential is limitless,” Spitzer said.
“There is one rule: How do we stay true to our brand [and its] DNA,” continued El Glaoui.
Givenchy has been a groundbreaking luxury beauty brand the metaverse before. In honor of Pride Month last June, the brand collaborated with London gallerist and LGBTQ supporter Amar Singh and artists from the Rewind Collective to create a digital work that was sold to profit the association Le MAG Jeunes, or Mouvement d’Affirmation des Jeunes Gais, Lesbiennes, Bi et Trans, for people aged 15 to 30.
That syncs with Givenchy Parfums’ corporate and social responsibility strategy, dubbed Dare to Reinvent, which spans everything from products to how it works with teams and bonds with society.
In the real world, it partnered with Paris’ Beaux-Arts de Paris, the school of fine arts which de Givenchy the designer attended, to financially back students from all social and cultural backgrounds.
Engaging consumers is crucial for all brands today. The Givenchy Beauty House brings that into a new realm.
“We are really working on direct-to-avatar communication,” Spitzer said. “This is just the beginning of a new story.”
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