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06/07/2022

Forever 21 collaboration with Mattel brings Barbie to the metaverse

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Forever 21 is introducing what might be called “Metaverse Barbie.”

Forever 21 is making a limited-edition collection with Barbie-inspired products available on a popular gaming platform.

The fast-fashion retailer is partnering with global toy company Mattel to release a special assortment of vintage style apparel items, swim, sleepwear, beauty, accessories, and home décor, inspired by the Mattel Barbie DreamHouse line of toys. The collection will be simultaneously available in-store, online, and in the “Forever 21 Shop City” immersive virtual experience the retailer launched in December 2021 on Roblox.

The Forever 21 metaverse Barbie collection was created by metaverse creation company Virtual Brand Group, which also designed the retailer’s Roblox store. The collection uses Roblox’s latest layered clothing technology for hyper-realistic 3D clothing that fits any avatar body type. The designs feature real-world fabrics and details like intricate stitching on the collection’s Malibu Denim Jacket, embossed art, beadwork, and textured fabrics on select items.

The collection will also be available in the “real world” at all Forever 21 store locations, as well as on its mobile app and e-commerce site.

“Barbie, a SoCal native plays in the same inclusive, empowering and fashionable space that our customers love, appreciate and have come to expect from our business,” said Winnie Park, CEO at Forever 21. “We are thrilled to offer shoppers unexpected line extensions that include Barbie in-store and online and virtual fashions in the metaverse. This was the perfect collection to launch first, under our Forever LA umbrella.”  

Forever 21 Shop City – a closer look
With this new collaboration, Forever 21 is making a major effort to expand the virtual world of “Forever 21 Shop City. In this metaverse environment, customers are able to buy and sell the retailer’s merchandise, including accessories and clothing, hire non-player characters (NPCs) as employees, and customize every aspect of their own store as they try to become the “top shop” in the experience. 

Forever 21 Shop City was launched in collaboration with a number of popular Roblox content creators and influencers, who are creating exclusive items and personally designed stores for the experience.

In addition, a virtual flagship store located at the hub of Forever 21 Shop City enables users to get drops of new merchandise for themselves and their stores, restock inventory, socialize with others, and check out new design elements to use in their stores. As Forever 21 releases new collections in its physical and e-commerce stores, Forever 21 Shop City will simultaneously offer the ability to add the same merchandise to each store or buy it for a customer’s Roblox avatar.

All users start with a ready-to-be-customized sleek glass store. As they succeed at in-game virtual tasks, users earn points to expand their store. This includes adding additional floors and options, as well as customized exteriors with lights and architectural themes including Cottage Core, FutureScape, Cyber Punk, Eco-Urban, and Malibu Mansion.

Forever 21 Shop City also features four themed districts including entertainment, obstacle course, food court and yellow carpet, where users can role play, meet up with friends, discover hidden rare items, and build their community.

Forever 21 operates more than 572 locations globally and online.