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Meta’s avatars just got a bigger closet. The owner of Instagram and Facebook has tapped digital fashion provider DressX to provide outfits for its new avatar fashion marketplace. Pieces from DressX’s digital-only inventory will be sold alongside luxury players Balenciaga, Prada and Thom Browne, which partnered with the marketplace at launch last month.
DressX is providing a range of styles, including a fitted mini dress and a DressX-branded sweatsuit. The avatar outfits, which are sold as complete looks, cost from $2.99 to $8.99 at launch (Meta will also continue to offer free outfit options to marketplace customers). Once created, people can use their avatars across Meta-owned Instagram, Facebook, Messenger and virtual reality headset Quest through stickers, messages and feed posts. The avatar marketplace was first introduced in the US, Canada, Thailand and Mexico and will be expanded to other countries in due course.
Meta rolled out its upgraded 3D avatars at the start of this year as part of an ongoing push into the metaverse. Meta will share a portion of revenue with DressX. Last month, a Meta spokesperson said that it did “not have details to share” on if or how it would split revenue with designers.
New DressX collections will be launched on a monthly basis, and Meta signalled that it plans to eventually allow independent creators to sell their designs — a function that DressX already allows on its own platform.
Avatar fashion is already big business, so Meta is entering a crowded field. TikTok, Snapchat and Apple already offer customisable avatars. One in five of Roblox’s 220 million monthly active users update their avatars daily via its marketplace, which enables independent creators to monetise their designs, according to the platform. This is in addition to providers such as Genies, which just raised $150 million, and Ready Player Me. However, Meta’s scale, which has reached at least 3.8 billion monthly active users, means that it stands to make digital fashion more accessible to those who might not have previously considered paying money for virtual goods.
“The opportunity of the scale that we can achieve with Meta is great,” says DressX co-founder Daria Shapovalova. “For us, it is a little victory because when we started, there was nothing [for digital fashion]. The goal is to make it easier to wear digital fashion. We want people to wear collections from DressX on Snapchat, Meta, Roblox and more.” Already, the company has sold more than 38,000 pieces since it began offering items on Roblox’s marketplace a couple of months ago, and some of the most popular pieces helped inform the ones that were converted for the Meta launch.