DREST, the world’s first interactive luxury styling game, is set to shake up the way Millennials and Gen-Z shop for luxury fashion. It was conceived by award-winning Editor-in-Chief Lucy Yeomans and developed in partnership with investor and entrepreneur Graham Edwards.
The pair lead a team of luxury fashion experts in the new business, which has partnered with more than 100 of the world’s leading luxury brands for launch, including Burberry, Gucci, Prada, Stella McCartney and Valentino.
DREST allows users to style and create their own content, share it across their social channels or with other uses in the DREST app, and shop it. Players are provided with a diverse line-up of avatars and the latest styles from the partner brands, along with hair, make-up, locations and backdrops.
Gucci has signed a worldwide, six-month partnership running from October, which will include a series of creatively designed challenges (launched weekly) that relate to Gucci’s Fall/Winter 2019 collection and beyond. Gucci will be the first brand to feature a dedicated avatar representing one of the brand’s key faces.
Most of the fashion assortment will be provided by global luxury fashion platform Farfetch, for which DREST will also act as an affiliate partner. Users will be able to style from a bespoke edit of Farfetch’s inventory and then shop directly on the Farfetch platform to buy those looks. A curation of products directly from select independently sourced brands will also be available.
The game launches in an early access mode on 8 October with a waitlisted approach to on-boarding users in advance of the full launch in early 2020. The early access phase will allow a key global user base access to a range of features being released over the next months including augmented community, enhanced in-game economy, modesty mode and beauty.
As part of the full launch DREST will be working with some of the world’s top supermodels and cross-industry influencers and impact-makers who will be featured as avatars in the platform. Each of their individual philanthropic causes – to which DREST will donate a percentage of the game’s revenues – will be highlighted in the editorial narrative.
Future plans also include donating 5% of every in-game micro-transaction to causes supporting digital responsibility, mental health, body positivity and female empowerment.
Yeomans, who is a former Editor in Chief at British Harper’s Bazaar and NET-A-PORTER and PORTER magazine, said of the new venture: “I wanted to create a democratic and highly inventive new fashion experience that engages the Millennial and Gen Z audiences – who place such high value on individuality and self-expression – as well as delighting and surprising existing fashion lovers and consumers.
“I am thrilled to open up the incredible story-telling and creativity of the fashion world to a wider audience, and to offer brands a highly interactive, playful and immersive way to connect with global consumers. It is also important to me that this new platform showcases fashion as a force for good. In addition to ensuring that our content speaks to key issues and causes, we will be announcing a number of important philanthropic partnerships to time with our full launch in 2020.”
As well as Yeomans and Edwards, who is founder of Telereal Trillium and Castle Water, there is a heavyweight team behind the launch. They are joined by a multi-industry leading collective including: serial tech founder and entrepreneur Vivion Cox (COO); Lisa Bridgett (CMO & Commercial Officer) previously from The Modist as well as NET-A-PORTER;Tess Macleod Smith (Managing Director) formerly Global VP of Media at NET-A-PORTER, launch Publishing Director of PORTER and British Harper’s Bazaar; Candice Fragis (Fashion Director) previously Buying Director at Farfetch and NET-A-PORTER, and Emily Yim and Caitlin Shell, Director of Product Management and Business Development respectively, who join from GLU MOBILE Inc.
DREST is available for download on The App Store and Google Play and the Early Access Waitlist will be opened up from 8 October for launch with Gucci. DREST will be working with a select group of fashion and gaming industry insiders, including students from London College of Fashion UAL who will be in the game for early access.