Future+ Fridays | Issue03

New Brands launch on Roblox, SXSW recap, Michael Kors, and more

Hi, it's Ashumi, the founder of Future+. We will be sharing the 5 things that were on our radar every Friday at the intersection of creative, culture and technology.

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In this week’s issue- 

  1. Hugo Boss, Adidas and LoveShackFancy join Roblox

  2. Michael Kors x FashionVerse

  3. SXSW Highlights

  4. StockX x Apple Vision Pro

  5. AI in the Modeling Industry

Deeper insights:

  1. Hugo Boss and LoveShackFancy join the Roblox Universe

A new brand has joined the Roblox universe: Hugo Boss. Introducing their latest denim apparel collection, ”Hugo Blue Line”, Hugo Boss is bringing a street style-inspired gender-neutral line to the gaming platform. Over Roblox, users will have the ability to dress their avatars in Hugo Boss denim attire. Nadia Kokni, Senior VP of Global Marketing at Hugo Boss, said that the brand is interested in tapping into gamification through their Planet Hugo partnership. 

Photo Courtesy of Hugo Boss

Hugo Boss isn’t the only brand that has chosen to promote their products on Roblox. LoveShackFancy, the New York-based fashion brand, recently launched a pop-up shop on Roblox in partnership with Stratosphere Studios. The pop-up allows Roblox users to add limited-edition LoveShackFancy products to their virtual wardrobes, take selfies, and explore different outfits. The pop-up will run until April 8th. In December, Adidas joined Roblox, allowing users to dress their avatars in the recognizable three-stripe logo.


Secret’s out… our 18th store is officially open 🎊 & this time it’s in the metaverse in partnership with Stratosphere Studios 🎀  Introducin... See more

Why it matters: The number of luxury brands joining Roblox represents how technology–specifically gaming platforms–are becoming a larger outlet for commerce and promotion of luxury fashion. According to Roblox, 84 percent of Gen Z report that their style is influenced by their avatar’s style online. With Gen Z and other individuals spending a vast amount of time online, luxury brands have an opportunity to successfully target a specific audience by entering the digital space.

  1. A New Partnership: Michael Kors x FashionVerse

FashionVerse, the interactive AI fashion game founded by Tommy Hilfiger and Joe Lamastra, recently announced their partnership with Michael Kors. The limited-time collaboration took place from March 6-10, giving users the opportunity to participate in challenges and new scenes each day–from the airport to photoshoots–dressed in the Michael Kors spring collection. Players also styled models in Michael Kors clothing and accessories. Once players completed all challenges, players were rewarded with an exclusive Michael Kors digital handbag. 

Photo Courtesy of FashionVerse

FashionVerse has already been downloaded over a million times, since the app’s release in January–which can be accessed via iOS and Android devices, as well as through Netflix. The app aims at allowing users to share their creations, participate in design challenges, comment on their favourite fashion looks, and more. 

Why it matters: FashionVerse represents an additional convergence of fashion and gaming that we are beginning to see regularly. The convergence of fashion and technology allows luxury brands to transfer their products to a virtual environment, opening an opportunity for brands to introduce their products to a wider-range of individuals. Additionally, the use of AI on virtual platforms–which FashionVerse uses to enhance the app’s overall experience–is becoming a strategy to make the consumer experience increasingly personalised, a trend we are seeing among overall consumer preferences.

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  1. SXSW: The Highlights (So Far)

Boys Club, a social collective group in the web3 space, hosted their /brandnew summit at SXSW on Tuesday. The event gathered speakers, artists, creators, and more to discuss the new internet, crypto, and digital culture as a whole. Li Jin, Co-founder of Variant, discussed the future of consumer crypto at the summit–which is creating entirely new experiences made possible by web3. Other speakers, including Amanda Cassatt, CEO of Serotonin shares , and Marjorie Hernandez, Founder of LUKSO, discussed topics ranging from creativity in the multiverse to marketing in web3. See more key highlights here from Tara Fung, Co-Founder and CEO of Co:Create, who also attended. At the event, Boys Club partnered with IYK–an app that creates tangible, digital experiences through NFC technology. 

Readyverse Studios announced their release of “Open,” a battle royale game where players compete against one another on the Readyverse, at SXSW on monday. Readyverse Studios–co-founded by Ernest Cline, creator of Ready Player One, and Futureverse–announced the launch of The Readyverse earlier this year. The launch of Open represents a AAA metaverse experience leveraging web3 technology. 

Photo Courtesy of Readyverse Studios

Amy Webb, Founder and CEO of Future Today Institute, delivered the Emerging Tech Trends Report at SXSW on Monday. Webb explained that three main tech segments have become general purpose tech: AI, Connected Ecosystem of Things, and Biotechnology. General purpose tech–which include massive innovations like the steam engine or internet–have the ability to completely shape society. Webb highlighted that these three tech segments represent a new wave of innovation that have the ability to reshape human existence (both positively and negatively). 

Art exhibit by Cool Shit. Photo Courtesy of SXSW

Tulpamancer–an interactive experience through the intersection of generative AI and VR–developed an immersive experience for users at SXSW. Through a retro-style computer, guests answered questions about their lives in-depth (e.g. what your bedroom looked like as a child, happiest memories). After answering questions, the computer develops AI generated imagery based on how people answered the questions. In addition to the convergence of AI and VR, Generative Goods at SXSW merged AI generated designs with physical fashion. The digital NFT embroidery creates AI generated designs and stitches them onto clothing, such as t- shirts and hats, giving NFT users a tangible attachment to their art.

Photo Courtesy of Mashable

Why it matters: As seen at SXSW, there is an increased amount of dialogue occurring surrounding the convergence of emerging technologies within creative and cultural industries. There are also new activations taking place, displaying how tech is intersecting with the creative industry. SXSW acted as a medium for individuals and companies to display these innovations in technology and connect with others.

  1. StockX Partners With Apple Vision Pro

The Apple Vision Pro was only released in January, but brands are already jumping to collaborate with the VR product. On Monday, StockX–a marketplace for sneakers, watches, handbags, and more–announced their partnership with Apple Vision Pro. The StockX and Apple Vision partnership will allow users to view 3D versions of sneaker releases on shelves in the comfort of their own home. Users can also browse products available on StockX, access market data, and shop user-generated content. 

Photo Courtesy of StockX

Drew Moore, Senior Director of product design at StockX, said the company looks forward to adding additional features to the new app. In addition to StockX, ELF Cosmetics, Alo Yoga, and Wayfair have also partnered with Apple Vision Pro to grant users an immersive experience to interact with their products.

Photo Courtesy of Apple

Why it matters: The Apple Vision Pro represents a breakthrough in technology with the ability to change the way people work, connect, collaborate, and digest entertainment. Brands in the luxury sector have an opportunity to grant users a virtual and immersive way to interact with their products, allowing them to engage with products outside the physical store.

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  1. AI is Entering the Model Industry

Believe it or not, you can create a twin version of yourself. London-based model Alexsandrah recently created a virtual AI model version of herself, becoming one of the first models to market a digital version of themselves to clients. Alexsandrah explained that “I will benefit from it because it’s literally an AI version of me, I’m not cut out from anything.”

Photo Courtesy of Yahoo! News

Alexsandrah’s virtual twin was made possible by The Diigitals, an AI and 3D modelling agency. Founded by Cameron Wilson, The Diigitals garnered popularity with its 2017 launch of Shudu, the world’s first digital supermodel. Shudu currently has over 240K instagram followers. 

Photo Courtesy of The Diigitals

Why it matters: Alexsandrah’s AI model–and the innovations made by The Diigitals–marks an aim at proving that AI can be used to make new innovations within the fashion sector. Gen AI is profoundly powerful and can allow companies to improve creativity and consumer experience, according to the Future+ 2023 Insights report. Similarly, according to McKinsey & Company, roughly three quarters of fashion executives said AI was a priority for their companies in 2024. With an opportunity within the market and willingness of brands to implement AI into their business practices, the digital environment can grow into a medium that works alongside the physical space, improving overall product and business practices.

Bonus content for the weekend:

📚 To read - Marketing in a world of Paradox.
For a recap of the report, see our LinkedIn Post here.

🗣 To listen -  Tech Powered Luxury
LIVE from Future+ Paris: Fashion, Art & Culture on the Blockchain with Ashley McDonnell

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