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Warner Music Group Furthers Metaverse Push With Digital Fashion Startup DressX

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

Through the partnership, Warner Music artists will be able to create and license digital wearables and merchandise for fans. The items will be 3D avatar wearables or augmented reality (AR) virtual 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 NFTs might come into play through this particular deal. However, the label framed it as another example of a Web3 partnership, so there may be as-yet-unannounced NFT components to come.

WMG is also investing in DressX as a part of the agreement, although the amount was not disclosed. Oana Ruxandra, WMG’s Chief Digital Officer and EVP, Business Development, explained that the firm’s interest in DressX is due to a belief that life is only trending more digital.

“The representation of our future digital selves will be as important and, if you’re measuring by sheer volume of interactions, maybe more important than how we represent ourselves physically,” Ruxandra said in a statement.

DressX cofounders Daria Shapovalova and Natalia Modernova created 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 tapped to release digital wearables in Meta’s Avatar Store, a move that didn’t sit well with some Web3 purists.

The DressX alliance caps off a string of Web3 deals for WMG in 2022. In January, WMG said it would host virtual concerts with its artists in The Sandbox, an upcoming Ethereum-based metaverse game A month later, the record label announced a partnership with Web3 gaming company Splinterlands to develop artist-themed blockchain games for fans.

More recently, WMG continued its bevy of Web3 partnerships by teaming up with NFT marketplace OpenSea to help artists bridge into the space, and made plans to release music NFTs through the upcoming LGND platform on Polygon.

Despite the hype around digital fashion in Web3, which includes drops from historic fashion houses and myriad startups alike, NFT apparel has yet to drive significant mainstream interest at this early stage in the development of the metaverse.

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

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