Blueberry and Boy Meets Girl Dress for the Metaverse
Look out, kids! Mission-driven fashion brand Boy Meets Girl has partnered with House of Blueberry to bring socially responsible style to Roblox.
Such gaming-driven communities are currently the closest thing we have to a vibrant, functioning metaverse. Roblox, which lets people design and play games, boasts 43.2 million daily active users, of which 67 percent are under 16, according to Women's Wear Daily.
Blueberry bills itself as "the leading fashion house" in that evolving space, and has sold over 20 million assets to some 400,000 unique customers. Its collab with Boy Meets Girl follows previous initiatives with Jonathan Simkhai and the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen.
Boy Meets Girl sells athleisure styles with a clear stake in the ground. Since launching after 9/11, its limited-edition collections have helped fund the Young Survival Coalition, BullyBust, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Watch and more. Entertainment-wise, it has joined with artists including Justine Skye, Wyclef Jean and Natasha Bedingfield for various promos.
The "Boy Meets Girl x House of Blueberry" collection went live on Jan. 10, and features avatar must-haves (from the perspective of our physical selves, anyway): Leggings, sweatpants, signature T-shirts, a hoodie and a beanie, which sell for up to 85 Robux apiece (equivalent to about 30 cents). So don’t worry, parents, this isn't a bank-breaker. And it's for a good cause!
Users visit a virtual boutique where their avatars try on the threads. Meanwhile, in the non-pixellated world, Boy Meets Girl has launched an organic, unisex kids version of the collection through Saks Fifth Avenue. Those items retail from $39-58 and feature a lookbook.
Stacy Igel, founder and creative director of Boy Meets Girl, views the campaign as an evolution of her meditations on “clothing as protection,” which began in her previous collections. "This is about the protector and the hero’s journey," she says.
We chatted with Igel shortly after the project's virtual launch bash in Roblox. Here's our conversation:
MUSE: Tell us about how the "Boy Meets Girl x House of Blueberry" collab happened.
STACY IGEL: I have been dabbling in the gaming world since 2009 with my partnership with FFG and my partnership with the Just Dance Game. Over the past year-plus, I have been actively involved in Women in Web 3, which was natural, given my 20+ years building a brand from the ground up. I released an NFT collection with 12 artists called "Boy Meets Girl Meets Artists Meets Artist," and hosted tons of Twitter Spaces, along with co-founding On Chain for Good. The team from House of Blueberry reached out and both of our missions completely aligned. Naturally, this became an incredible partnership that I wanted to be part of.
How does this campaign facilitate Boy Meets Girl's mission?
It is my goal, and has been my goal, for the brand to bring awareness to causes and ways to help others, by sharing stories and non-profits that can help change and educate the youth. We have always led with, “Confidence and courage never go out of style.” Now, I coined a new phrase with this partnership: "Confidence and courage never go out of style … in the Metaverse."
Here are just a few ways that gamers have already reacted to our brand in Roblox:
I hope you're all ready for the official @BoyMeetsGirlusa x @WearBlueberry virtual launch party TOMORROW at 1pm EST! Come join us in a fashion show, chat it up with @StacyIgel & the team, and try on some new threads!— Bun / Alyssa (She/Her) 🖤✨ (@bunniblossomss) January 15, 2023
We hope to see you all there! 💘✨#RobloxEvent #RobloxDev pic.twitter.com/CnnmfiUzi0
What made Roblox right for this collection?
As mentioned above, I have been dabbling in gaming and the metaverse over the past 10+ years. Given my ongoing growth with our Boy Meets Girl Kids collections recently with Saks, it aligns with our Roblox strategy as the collection reaches a younger demographic, and it’s a fashion-forward and positive/uplifting platform.
Do you have any views about the future or potential of the metaverse? How do you think it will impact communities (or how do you think it's doing that already)?
I wouldn't be so invested in it if I did not think it was the future. We are actually in it right now. Very early stages, clearly, from my example of 2009 above, but we are here and it is not going away. Almost half (42 percent) of Gen Z values digital fashion just as much as IRL fashion. My goal is to bring my brand's impact to Roblox with Blueberry to make it a positive environment and help the youth combat bullying by sharing how to be an upstander.
How does fashion impact personal identity or relations with other people?
Here is a great example I love to share. I was covered in Allure magazine a few years ago on whether wearing a political T-shirt can create social change. I noted, “Contributing to causes that can help make a stand or help one in need gives me a sense of hope that others will follow and continue to show their support.” In that same article I explained how I release a limited-edition collection every month, with 10 percent of the sales dedicated to organizations that “impact communities in need in a positive way.”
I do believe fashion and these virtual pieces can spark change, especially with the communication component that comes with being in the game. I licensed my brand to a retailer in Finland, and we led a massive campaign to bring awareness to anti-bullying. For the launch event in Finland, Finnish Idol Diandra performed. After, we met and became friends. She wrote to me a few months later from a concert and actually sent me a video and said, “I am wearing your fcckbullies shirt and all the other girls on the dance floor are too.” We all united and became friends because our common goal is to combat bullying together! It doesn’t get better than that, right?
What surprised you in the production stage of this collab and launch?
This is the second time someone asked me this and honestly, I speak about this in my book, coming out on March 7th: Embracing the Calm in the Chaos. Collaborations come in many forms. But when you align on your missions and work ethic, sometimes they work out magically.
Who do you hope to impact, and what do you want them to take from it?
I want to continue to impact youth culture through my brand. It starts from the beginning. This was a tweet that resonated with me. If I can continue to do this every day, which I have set my mission to do since I started Boy Meets Girl, I am doing the right thing.
What do you look forward to next, creatively?
I am doing what I love and I want to continue to grow with my collaboration on Roblox with Blueberry and continue to work with thought leaders!
Click to enlarge these images of the launch party: