Ralph Lauren is now dressing Roblox avatars.
Along with the Ralph Lauren Winter Escape, a new virtual destination to celebrate the holidays, the American brand introduced a brand new, all-digital collection on Wednesday, available exclusively in Roblox.
The company drew inspiration from its signature Polo Sport line from the 1990s. Eight new winter sportswear looks take cues from the Polo Sport, Stadium and Snow Beach archives and from current seasons, casting styles in bold colors and sporty graphics. Limited-edition accessories and “surprise and delight” bonus items will drop each week, as announced through Ralph Lauren’s social media accounts.
The snowy alpine setting features virtual Polo Shops, where users can style their avatars and make purchases.
The Ralph Lauren Winter Escape experience also offers a number of themed activities and opportunities, such as ice skating, gathering by the fire pit with customized hot chocolates from Ralph’s Coffee Truck, toasting marshmallows and a holiday treasure hunt, which unlocks exclusive accessories. The platform’s global community can also decorate the featured holiday tree to activate new rewards and additional expansions to the Roblox world.
Christina Wootton, Roblox’s vice president of global brand partnerships, described it as a “heartwarming holiday experience” that allows people to socialize with friends and indulge in a Ralph Lauren-designed environment.
“Ralph’s vision has always been about stepping into the world of your dreams, and the metaverse enables us to bring this vision to life for next-generation consumers in powerful new ways,” Patrice Louvet, Ralph Lauren’s chief executive officer, told WWD.
The fashion house has a history of embracing digital platforms. It was one of the first brands to launch an e-commerce site more than 25 years ago, and more recently, it explored augmented reality. But it’s still a relative newcomer to digital fashion sales in the virtual world, having only broken into this area three months ago, with its Zepeto collaboration.
To develop this latest experience, the brand worked with Roblox community developer Funomena, a game design and development studio.
“Our community developers have created a unique experience with custom textures for a realistic winter nature backdrop where anyone can try exclusive fashion items and even influence what this environment looks like based on their participation and daily voting results,” Wootton elaborated. It’s a great example of the sort of innovation and collaboration that’s possible in Roblox, Wootton added.
That matters for brands like Ralph Lauren. As Louvet explained, “We are as meticulous about the digital expression of our brand as we are with any other medium — it must be consistent, elevated and representative of the unique Ralph Lauren lifestyle — and I think you will see that in our work across digital and 3D media from Bitmoji to Zepeto, G2 esports and, now, Roblox.”
“We are learning from our early work in the metaverse, and we are excited about its potential and how Ralph Lauren is playing a leadership role in this area.”
The Ralph Lauren Winter Escape launched Wednesday and will remain available until Jan. 3, 2022.