Gucci To Take ‘Active Role’ in Bored Ape Yacht Club Metaverse

Gucci and BAYC’s Yuga Labs are now formally working together to explore how fashion can influence the metaverse

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Gucci is set to take “an active role” in the upcoming Bored Ape Yacht Club metaverse offering, Otherside, after striking a multi-year strategic partnership with creator Yuga Labs.

The Italian luxury fashion house aims to formally join Yuga Labs in exploring the “intersection between fashion and entertainment in the metaverse,” Business of Fashion reported.

Gucci had already worked with Yuga Labs’ 10KTF project, the NFT-powered browser game created by digital artist Beeple, in which players deck their avatars out in clothes tied to digital collectibles. Gucci issued branded 10KTF outfits in Mar. 2022, with Yuga Labs acquiring 10KTF by September.

Yuga Labs also manages NFT projects MeeBits and CryptoPunks, which the Florida-headquartered startup bought from Larva Labs last year.

“Existing in a world where physical and digital realms collide, and are shaped by creative storytelling, the first activation in the partnership will give a glimpse of Gucci’s participation in Otherside, Yuga’s gamified, metaRPG universe, beginning this week,” Gucci said in a press release.

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Robert Triefus, chief executive of Gucci Vault & Metaverse Ventures, reportedly said the partnership “will give us an active role in Otherside and 10KTF’s continuing narrative, unfolding in multiple forms.” Blockworks has reached out to Gucci and Yuga Labs for comment. 

Triefus reportedly said 2021 hype in the NFT market has eased. And since it’s now in a more “sensible place,” Gucci intends to “capitalise on the the expertise of creatives.”

Gucci created its metaverse division about six months ago. A top executive at Gucci owner Kering previously said the company wants to be a pioneer in the Web3 and NFT industry, Vogue Business reported.

“Luxury has a role to play. There’s a real opportunity for us to create digital products that would be ways to express our houses,” chief client and digital officer Grégory Boutté told the outlet.

“Our vision is around two pillars: metaverse and Web3. We think the metaverse is already here, the best evidence being video games. Some 2.5 billion people use video games. These virtual worlds will be more and more immersive and present in our lives,” Boutté said.

Gucci began accepting ApeCoin (APE), which is set for use across Yuga Labs’ in-development metaverse offerings, at some of its US retail stores last August.

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