TikTok’s popularity of “small tops” saved the once-bankrupt fashion retailer Aeropostale. For its next viral attempt, the company is going to the metaverse.
In collaboration with software firm MetaversePlus, the shopping mall stalwart today introduced AeroPax, an NFT collection featuring 30,000 one-of-a-kind avatars that “will establish community and give members exclusive advantages, like access to limited-edition items and VIP promos.”
Aeropostale is the newest big fashion company to enter the metaverse, following in the footsteps of Gucci, Forever 21, and Balenciaga. The potential payout might be substantial: According to Precedence Research, the worldwide metaverse market was worth almost $69 billion in 2022 and is expected to exceed $1.3 trillion by 2030. Furthermore, digital objects provide limitless repeatability at a low cost, as well as an integrated marketing platform.
Yet, according to a recent McKinsey analysis, “direct sales may not be front and center on the metaverse right now.” In other words, it’s a marketing ploy, and producing money isn’t the goal right now.
Aeropostale was a bankrupt fashion retailer with a significant and failing physical store presence just a few years ago. The millennial playbook of slim jeans and graphic tees that had been the brand’s bread-and-butter for years had run its course.
Then, apparently out of nowhere, the brand’s “small tops” became viral on TikTok, restoring the brand’s significance. In the metaverse, the corporation may be trying for a similar viral impact, though what that would be is unknown.
“We conceive of it as the building of a community of like-minded individuals… a new generation coming together to build a brighter, more inclusive future,” Aeropostale’s head of marketing Michael DeLellis said. We “Have no preconceived preconceptions regarding the composition of this new community. Everyone is welcome!”
So far, the idea has garnered traction, with over 7,000 Instagram followers and over 500 newcomers to the company’s Discord channel.
Yet, the incentive for this gathering of digital souls may have more to do with the company’s plan to give away ten Tesla Model Ys than with bunny-character NFTs. After all, the possibility to win a $50,000-plus automobile may be more appealing than access to a customized Aeropostale wolf, but you never know in crypto.