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Would you spend $10,000 on a virtual dress? Gucci is betting on it

Gucci wants to dress you—and your avatar.

The $11.8 billion Italian powerhouse is no longer just designing physical products, but also virtual clothes, shoes, and accessories that exist entirely in the digital realm. It’s part of the brand’s bet that in order for luxury fashion to thrive in the next decade, it needs to be seamlessly integrated into the digital worlds where consumers are increasingly spending their time.

Over the last few years, Gucci has created digital versions of its latest collection for a fashion-themed video game, athletic wear for a popular tennis game, and virtual looks for online avatars. And this month, it will launch a platform to let users design virtual sneakers and then put them on their feet using augmented reality.

These items may inspire consumers to buy Gucci products IRL, but they could also have value simply as digital goods. “The virtual world is creating its own economy,” says CMO Robert Triefus. “Virtual items have value because of their own scarcity, and because they can be sold and shared.” (To wit: Someone recently dropped $2,400 on a pair of virtual sneakers on a mobile game called Aglet; another spent $9,500 on a digital dress that only exists on Instagram.)

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