From editor to founder of styling apps, Lucy Yeomans has a wealth of experience in the world of luxury fashion, and now she’s turned to the metaverse with her latest venture, DREST. Combining fantasy and reality, it is a mobile game application that allows gamers, aka “stylists”, to explore designer collections from Cartier to Fendi, dress up and shop in real time. . Lucy shares her perspective on DREST.
DREST is an immersive mobile game and content platform that merges the creative worlds of luxury fashion, beauty and lifestyle with the endless possibilities of the metaverse.
Combining a highly engaging gaming experience with real-time fashion and cultural news and a unique and creative way to discover and interact with the latest luxury collections, DREST is a mobile-style game that democratizes and revolutionizes the experience of luxury fashion. It gives everyone, everywhere the opportunity to express their creativity and be part of the exclusive world of fashion and beauty.
On DREST, players take on real-world challenges that take the form of virtual photo shoots. They are responsible for styling looks using the latest apparel, accessories, jewelry and beauty collections from the world’s top luxury brands including Gucci, Cartier, Prada, Valentino, Fendi, Christian Louboutin, Oscar de la Renta and Burberry. Players can choose from an inclusive range (ethnicity and body type) of hyper-realistic model avatars and five supermodel avatars – Natalia Vodianova, Precious Lee, Irina Shayk, Candice Huffine and Imaan Hammam – to bring their shoots to virtual life . Once a player has finished creating their look, they are rated by other players in the game – a highly engaged community of fashion and beauty enthusiasts – resulting in a star rating that will allow the player to move up level, progress in the game and earn luxury rewards.
DREST is a virtual game, but everything it’s based on is real. From fashion and beauty products to travel destinations, red carpets, events and the style sought after by TV show gamers. This connection to real life is an important part of the experience; the way audiences consume information and content has changed, and DREST is at the forefront of transforming and gamifying luxury fashion and entertainment, unlocking the possibilities of the metaverse. Gaming engages audiences like no other medium, with two-thirds of millennials saying they would choose to ditch their social media apps and TV shows over mobile games.
As a product, Drest is constantly evolving – often in response to demands from our highly engaged and vocal players! – and we’re constantly adding new concepts to the game, such as our pioneering “jewelry mode”, which allows players to create close-up looks focused on layering necklaces, rings, bracelets and watches, a feature we launched with a special collaboration with Cartier. Recently, we partnered with Oetker Collection to give our players access to iconic hotel backgrounds to place their avatar in, such as Le Bristol in Paris and Eden Roc in St Barths. These partnerships, as well as the bespoke partnerships we’ve collaborated on with Gucci, Fendi, Prada and Christian Louboutin, to name a few, are just the beginning. We have a series of incredibly exciting fashion, beauty and entertainment projects involving continuous development and innovation that we look forward to sharing with our community.
DREST was born out of a desire to include everyone, everywhere in the world of luxury fashion and beauty.
Coming from the publishing world, I have always been passionate about creating inspiring content that people could connect with. But I was frustrated that content creation had long remained a one-way experience; a small number of people in the fashion industry decided what was right and wrong and then passed it on to their waiting audience. Some of this content also seemed to serve the industry rather than prioritizing the reader or user and their needs and wants. The rise of social media challenged this, but even then fashion content was dictated and created by a relatively small number of people and remained inaccessible to many people who did not look like a some way or had the financial means to buy luxury items to feature in their positions.
Just over 12 years ago I became enthralled with the gaming world, finding the immersive quality of the experience very compelling. I also observed many similarities between fashion and games; both are deeply creative industries and experiences, with storytelling, fantasy and self-expression at their core. What I loved most about some games was the incredible interactivity they offered, allowing their players to be part of the narrative, not just passive observers.
At the same time, I found that many brands, especially in the luxury sector, were faced with the challenge of how to engage and communicate with the next generation of consumers, who demanded a more augmented content experience, also seeking to be part of the conversation and share their views and creative ideas.
I believed that by harnessing the game’s interactive and immersive elements and mechanics and combining them with the narratives and creative experiences of the real worlds of fashion and beauty, there was an opportunity to design an innovative experience that would allow the audience to enter the fashion world, connect with the brands they love or aspire to, and get seriously creative. We see this desire for connection and participation manifest in Web3, and it’s exciting to be a co-architect of the future of fashion through the metaverse.
Our audience is predominantly female, international and highly engaged
DREST’s mission has always been to open up the luxury fashion industry to all style lovers and allow them to experience this exciting world first hand. We want this experience to be fun, creative and inspiring, something our players – the majority of women between the ages of 18 and 29 with a strong interest in fashion and beauty – thrive on. Playing DREST is also a deeply individual experience – as evidenced by the incredible variety of ways people around the world, from the United States to Europe, Brazil or the Middle East, approach and style the same challenges.
It has been amazing to see the already very positive engagement rates in gaming compared to e-commerce and publishing apps. Our stylists play DREST on average just over 20 minutes per session, which is unusually high for a mobile app. This intense focus and commitment from our players also allows us to deliver fantastic insights to the brands that partner with us in-game: in addition to showcasing the best brands in-game day-to-day, we also organize special, bespoke sponsored challenges. content campaigns to support a new product launch, project or movie release, for example, bringing them to life in a uniquely immersive way. Opportunities to help brands understand how a new product that hasn’t been released yet might be received in different parts of the world via virtual testing are particularly exciting to me from a sustainability perspective.
Bringing the fashion and gaming worlds together can sometimes be difficult, but when it works, it’s incredibly exciting.
From the start, we wanted to make sure we brought together the best talent from the fashion and gaming industries to deliver a truly groundbreaking and unique product. It’s been fascinating to bring these two different kinds of skills together, and there’s been tremendous learning on both sides. Having a growth mindset is an essential requirement for working at DREST!
I’ve seen other video game companies try to get a foothold in fashion and haven’t quite been successful in how to showcase and tell stories around brands and talent ; it is very difficult to ensure that everything is correct from a luxury point of view. So when we kick off work on a new feature or design, we question everything and wonder if it works from both a gaming and fashion perspective. But when we finally solve a particularly difficult problem that started with very conflicting views and approaches, everyone gets extremely excited!
The gaming and fashion industries have very different cultures and working styles, but a mutual thirst unites them for innovation and creativity.
Big changes are on the way
Another aspect that makes the game so exciting is the rapidly changing technological development. When I worked in content and e-commerce, we would create an app that would stay pretty much the same for months or even years, with the only regular updates being the content in it. In games, the product evolves every two weeks, with new features constantly being introduced, tested and iterated.
We’re excited at an important time in our product’s evolution, with DREST moving to a new, faster technology platform next year. With that will come a host of exciting new features and gameplay, and DREST will also be available on iOS and Android.
Highlights of the “new DREST” include a new look, animation, the ability to customize avatars, and a host of engaging new social features that will connect gamers to the brands they love. These new features will hopefully further our ambition to create the most inspired, engaged and powerful global community of fashion lovers and creatives.
Learn more via drest.com.