How does a heritage brand modernise itself for an online audience without losing its long-established brand codes and signatures? Valentino has an idea. The Italian fashion brand launched its latest edition of the Roman Stud bag, it’s rendered in four familiar colourways and one new colour: Water Green. It’s also smaller than the original, but don’t underestimate it because this bag is packed with significance. Although it may look similar to Valentino’s existing products, the new Roman Stud bag is a departure from the brand’s typical savoir flair. With each purchase–which can only be made online–customers are given exclusive access to a video game hosted on Valentino’s app.
The game is called Roman Stud Mania and it blends the physical item with augmented reality–seamlessly blending the brand’s classic item with modern technology. There is a bit of mystery surrounding the plot of the game, but for now, we do know the bag is at the centre as the “protagonist.” It’s an exciting time for Valentino to experiment with its online presence and aesthetic. Doing so with the phygital product keeps the brand true to its roots while testing out the technology and level of customer interest. As something you buy to access an online experience, this bag represents one way of encouraging customers to enter the Metaverse while still having one foot in the physical realm.
If it feels like there’s a new digital fashion-related item coming out every day, it’s because there is–and it’s revolutionising the fashion industry. The future of fashion and retail is rapidly headed toward the limitless digital realm, where it can constantly reinvent itself with innovative ideas–this move by Valentino being one of them. On a small scale, customers get to experience a fun game created by their favourite fashion house. On a macro scale, this represents another big step for luxury e-commerce as it transitions to revolve around AR and VR shopping experiences. Ultimately, Web 3.0 is a place where fashion will continue to blend fantasy and imagination, just as it has always done.