Vans has become the latest brand to dip its toe into the metaverse, with an open invitation to skateboarders everywhere to pull off their ollies, kickflips and grinds within a custom interactive experience that melds qualities of fashion, gaming and community.
Hosted within the Roblox online gaming universe, the virtual environment has been conceived as a place for people to come together and perform stunts and tricks, with the option to fully tailor their appearance from head to toe through functionality such as custom shoes and a skate shop.
Fans will be able to fully customize their appearance and purchase the clothes to wear back in the real world, marking the first venture by the sports brand into the metaverse.
Vans’s vice-president of global integrated marketing Nick Street said: “Individual expression is deeply embedded in skate culture, and Vans has been supporting and enabling this exact type of creativity for more than 50 years. With the Vans World experience on Roblox, we are empowering creative expression in the digital world, bridging the gap between virtual and real-world fashion and sports in an accessible, inclusive way.
“Vans is a global icon and advocate for youth culture, and we’re thrilled to bring this authentic brand experience to the millions of Vans enthusiasts where they are – on Roblox.”
All this will take place in an environment themed on signature Vans locations such as the Off The Wall Skatepark in California and physical retail environments, which have been reproduced in partnership with Roblox community developers The Gang Stockholm. Utilizing its own physics engine to ensure as authentic an experience as possible, the environments provide the next best thing to being there.
Christina Wootton, vice-president of brand partnerships for Roblox, added: “Vans is showcasing its commitment to empowering self-expression with Vans World. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and partnering with the Roblox developer community to build this 3D experience, Vans is bringing brand enthusiasts together in an authentic and interactive way.”
Vans has previously played its part to promote a creative culture with Waffleheads, a look at how its shoe range can serve as a canvas for customization.