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11/03/2022

Ralph Lauren Partners with Epic Games for Fortnite Experience

The retailer’s latest foray into the metaverse includes a digital-first capsule collection.
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polo stadium collection in fortnite screenshot
  • Ralph Lauren is launching a metaverse experience on Fortnite. 
  • The iconic brand will launch a digital fashion collection inspired by its collections from the 1990s.
  • The retailer will kick off the collection with a Twitch livestream followed by a Fortnite tournament. 

Ralph Lauren is partnering with Epic Games to create a collection of digital apparel and accessories for Fortnite, the companies announced in a joint release.

Ralph Lauren said the Fortnite collection — another foray into the metaverse — would be the first that the retailer designed as a digital-first capsule, with the collection influenced by a gaming design aesthetic. The retailer said it would also sell a physical version of the capsule, available Nov. 2. 

Ralph Lauren has always designed dreams and created new worlds, and today, our collaboration with Fortnite will deliver a groundbreaking experience to a new community of next-generation players and consumers,” said David Lauren, chief branding and innovation officer at Ralph Lauren, in the release. “Our partnership represents a completely fresh take on the Ralph Lauren brand—designing for the metaverse first—that is thoroughly focused on the future. We are excited to continue to lead digital exploration, building on our decades-long track record of pioneering innovation.” 

The new collection is inspired by the Stadium collection and the Polo Sport line from the 1990s, according to the release. When it launches digitally on the Fortnite Item Shop Nov. 5, the collection will feature two outfits with alternate styles and in-game cosmetics available for purchase, according to the release.

Ralph Lauren said it redesigned its iconic Polo Pony for the first time in its history to commemorate the collaboration with Epic Games. The retailer will also hold a livestream on Twitch on Nov. 3 to launch the collection, and it said it would be the first luxury brand to co-host a player tournament in Fortnite. The Nov. 4 tournament will include in-game rewards, like first access to the digital outfits and accessories.

Retailers are continuing to launch various types of virtual experiences in an effort to enter the metaverse. Walmart in September launched two experiences on the game Roblox, which is popular with kids and teens. Furniture retailer West Elm in October also launched a Roblox experience called the West Elm Neighborhood. Ralph Lauren launched a digital collection through Roblox last year.

Other retailers  — like Ikea, Macy’s, Crate & Barrel and others — have entered the metaverse through the use of augmented reality, allowing customers to virtually try furniture in their homes before purchasing.

Accenture’s “Technology Vision” research revealed that 72% of retail executives believe the metaverse will have a positive impact on their organizations, while 45% believe it will be breakthrough or transformational, Retail Leader Pro recently reported.