Meta’s new digital fashion marketplace will sell Prada, Balenciaga and Thom Browne

People will be able to buy digital fashion from a new Meta-created marketplace, and use it to dress their avatars on Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. There are plans to expand this so that independent creators can sell their designs.

Hours after Facebook changed its name to Meta in October, Meta tweeted at Balenciaga: “Hey @Balenciaga, what’s the dress code in the metaverse?” Now, Balenciaga is playing ball.

“When Meta tweeted, we were instantly into it,” said Balenciaga CEO Cédric Charbit in a release. “Web3 and Meta are bringing unprecedented opportunities for Balenciaga, our audience and our products, opening up new territories for luxury.”

Balenciaga, along with Prada and Thom Browne, is among the first to sign on to sell digital fashion in a new Meta-created avatar store where people can buy clothing for their avatars to wear on Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. Eventually, other designers will be able to independently offer digital clothing for sale in the marketplace. The items for sale in the avatar store will range from $2.99 to $8.99 to start. A Meta spokesperson said that it did “not have details to share” on if or how it would share revenue with designers.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram VP of fashion partnerships Eva Chen, who announced the updates via Instagram Live on Friday, said these capabilities will be available next week, starting with the US, Canada, Thailand and Mexico.

Starting with well-regarded brands was a key first step, Zuckerberg said, adding that the vision is to expand access. “We want to create a marketplace so creators, over time, can design clothing and sell it,” Zuckerberg said. “A lot of the dream is to make it accessible to anyone. If you want to design fashion today, you need the physical materials and equipment, but in the future, anyone with a computer and an imagination will be able to come up with ideas for this.”

This update offers more insights into how brands might work with and appear in Meta’s metaverse product, Horizon Worlds, and across its products. Fashion will play an integral role. “What we do is all about people expressing themselves and connecting, and a huge part of that is what they wear and fashion, so getting that right on all the apps you use is really important,” Zuckerberg said.

Already, it has begun hiring digital fashion designers. After Meta originally launched avatars in 2020, Instagram added 3D avatars in February. They can now be used on Instagram, Facebook, Messenger and its VR headset called Quest through spaces such as stickers, messages and feed posts.