Warner Music Group bolsters metaverse push with digital fashion startup DressX

Warner Music Group continues to forge metaverse alliances with startups, this time signing a deal with DressX — which creates digital fashion apparel both on and off the blockchain — announced Thursday.

Through this partnership, Warner Music artists will be able to create and license digital apparel and merchandise for fans. The items will be 3D avatar clothing or virtual augmented reality (AR) clothing, and can be viewed on platforms including Instagram and Snapchat, according to a statement.

Warner’s vast trove of popular artists across its various sub-labels includes major stars like Lizzo, Madonna, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What remains unclear is to what extent crypto and NFT could come into play under this particular agreement. However, the label touted it as another example of a Web3 partnership, so there may be unannounced NFT components to come.

WMG is also investing in DressX as part of the deal, although the amount was not disclosed. Oana Ruxandra, Chief Digital Officer and EVP, Business Development at WMG, explained that the company’s interest in DressX is driven by the belief that life is only getting more digital.

“Representation of our future digital selves will be as important and, if you measure by volume of interactions, perhaps more important than how we physically represent ourselves,” Ruxandra said in a statement.

DressX co-founders Daria Shapovalova and Natalia Modernova started the company in 2020 with the goal of “giving a meta closet to every person in the world.” In July, DressX became the first digital native brand to launch digital wearables in Meta Avatar Storea decision that did not please some Web3 purists.

The DressX alliance is entering into a series of Web3 deals for WMG in 2022. In January, WMG announced that it would hold virtual concerts with its artists in The sandboxan upcoming Ethereum-based Metaverse game A month later, the label announced a partnership with gaming company Web3 Exploded Earths to develop artist-themed blockchain games for fans.

More recently, WMG continued its multitude of Web3 partnerships by teaming up with OpenSea NFT Marketplace to help artists get closer to the space and planned to release music NFT via upcoming LGND platform on Polygon.

Despite the hype surrounding digital fashion in Web3, which includes drops in historical fashion houses and a myriad of similar startupsNFT clothing has yet to garner significant mainstream interest at this early stage of Metaverse development.

However, there is already precedent for the popularity of digital handheld devices in Web2 games. Roblox, the popular game creation suite and proto-metaverse platform popular with Gen Z gamers, recently said that more than one billion digital fashion items have been sold through its platform so far in 2022.

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