DREST enters the hard luxury space with Cartier partnership
DREST, the luxury fashion gaming app, has entered the hard luxury space via a new partnership with iconic jewellery and watch house Cartier.
Cartier will be harnessing the app, which presents gamers with virtual styling challenges, as a communications platform for its new Clash [Un]limited collection.
The partnership led to DREST creating a new "Jewelry and Watch Mode" for its app, which is a detailed and enhanced gameplay feature allowing gamers to style jewellery and watches close up in 2D on the platform's hyper-realistic avatars.
For the first time gamers can use functions that allow them to stack jewellery to create their own looks for their virtual "photoshoots", which are then shared with their peers and industry experts on the platform.
DREST was founded by former luxury magazine editor Lucy Yeomans, who is known for editing Harper's Bazaar and Net-A-Porter's PORTER magazine, to offer luxury brands a new way of engaging with their audience and attracting a new generation of luxury consumers.
This latest collaboration with Cartier follows an earlier "Moodboard" challenge staged on DREST for the Richemont-owned house. "We had some amazing statistics after that project, such as 70% of users wanted to go on and find out more about Cartier and 50% wanted to go on and purchase a Cartier piece," Yeomans told TheIndustry.fashion.
"[Launching] jewellery was something that was really, really exciting. Users told us they wanted to see the jewellery up closer on the model and they wanted to experiment," she explained.
DREST challenged itself to technically enhance its platform to allow for jewellery to be displayed in high resolution on various poses on the avatar, as well as offering the stacking option. One of the Cartier bracelets is also reversible and DREST enables gamers to flip the product to style it either way on their model.
Since its launch in 2019, DREST has partnered with some of the leading names in luxury from Burberry to Gucci, Prada and Stella McCartney. It also has a retail partnership with Farfetch enabling gamers to shop the items they style. Celebrated make-up artist Mary Greenwell has also provided styling challenges for gamers. Sometimes designers themselves engage with the platform, such as luxury footwear legend Christian Louboutin, who acted a judge for his own styling challenge.
Yeomans said that luxury brands had been very receptive to the idea of communicating with their audience via gaming and recognised its potential for engagement and garnering intelligence about potential and existing consumers. DREST shares data with brands on the pieces that attract the most interest, for instance, and the demographics of the users. Brands are also inspired by how gamers style their products and the context in which they place them.
DREST's key target woman is typically 35 years old and Yeomans explained that DREST has exploded the myth that gaming is a pastime mostly enjoyed by young men and boys. "Our gamers are a real mix; it extends from 18 to 65 years old. Gaming is very interesting, actually. I would never say I’m a gamer but I play a couple of games. I’ve always thought that Instagram is a game. You post and you try to get as many likes and comments as possible, and it’s quite competitive," she said, adding that 63% of mobile gamers are female.
Luxury brands have been very open to the idea of gaming having met with the DREST team, she said, because they could see the potential and felt comfortable with the team's understanding of the luxury space. "It was an easier proposition to explain than I thought at the start. It does very much depend on the brand but anyone with a strong digital team thought this was the future.
"The luxury environment was also really reassuring to the brands and the fact that this was a creative platform," she explained.
For Cartier, the adoption of gaming was a bold move but one which chimes with the brand's positioning, said Yeomans: "They are one of the most iconic jewellery brands and they also have always – when you look back through the ages – been really bold and modern. They are masters at it. For them to take that step into this world was really bold."
Cartier Senior Vice President and CMO Arnaud Carrez added: “Pushing boundaries is at the heart of Cartier’s DNA, and we are continually looking to engage with our audiences with new and relevant experiences. The new Clash [Un]limited is an amazing, contemporary collection and the DREST features will further empower our audience to explore Cartier’s creativity and creations in an innovative way.”
The new Clash [Un]limited collection features "radical and rebellious" designs that "amplify the clash of opposing attitudes" and DREST gamers are invited to get creative with it via two photoshoot challenges and one moodboard challenge.