Now that video content is pretty much a given, what’s next for fashion’s interactive side? Via start-ups and brands themselves, the industry is latching on to social gaming. WWD quoted James Gardner, CEO of Createthe Group, who pointed out that “Fashion is itself a game, after all.”
So who are the early adopters? Well, there’s DKNY, which is launching a partnership with Fashion Week Live on Monday. The game will be housed on Facebook, and challenges players to essentially carve out a virtual fashion career for themselves online. They can network with other players, and leveling up entails “rising to fame,” being presented with opportunities by an avatar of the DKNY PR Girl, and gaining access to products from a virtual DKNY store.
Our favorite online fashion game is Stylmee, of which we’ve been a fan since its launch earlier this year. The iPad/web game allows players to design and stock their own virtual boutiques, advancing by getting points from other players’ votes. Because the items are all ultimately shoppable in the real world, Stylmee presents an incredibly effective way for gaming to turn into actual transactions.
Other retailers embracing the gaming-to-shopping model are Aldo and Norma Kamali. Aldo’s Shoe Paradise asks players to virtually try out as many shoes as possible in a three-minute period, with a chance to win an actual three-minute spree in an Aldo store. Norma Kamali, meanwhile, set up illustrated pieces over the winter that shoppers could try out on virtual models, which ultimately led to purchases, since those pieces were all fully shoppable.
Though these games foster real shopping because they try to lead players to products, we think they also present a more intangible incentive to buy. After all, wouldn’t you feel more inclined to spend your money on a brand that’s gone to such lengths to entertain you?