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VivaTech 2022: Luxury group LVMH and beauty giant L’Oréal on embracing the metaverse and new technology

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Paris has been infiltrated by the tech elite this week as the VivaTech conference is in full swing. But the occasion also gives the fashion capital a chance to show how it will incorporate technology and Web3.

Euronews Next spoke with LVMH, the home of luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior, and beauty leader L’Oréal, to learn about the latest innovations from France’s biggest beauty and luxury companies.

One of the most talked about and possibly one of the most expensive products is also the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Ultra, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch with a 1.80mm thick profile and a cost of €250,000.

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Not only is it designed to look great on your wrist, but the watch also has built-in NFT technology that provides digital proof of ownership.

The owner of the watch, of which only 10 have been made, can scan a QR code which then takes them to the NFT system where they can view the watch’s history, including design sketches.

“You can always say that you are truly connected to the moment of the creation of the watch,” said Massimo Paloni, Director of Operations and Innovation at Bvlgari.

“The QR code is actually different for each watch and since each QR code is different, each product is different. We wanted to really create an experience for the customer.

“So when you scan the QR code, you actually go to a mini website and that mini website gives you the whole story, the whole journey of our creators,” he said.

“You have the passport, the digital passport of the watch on the blockchain. You have the artwork minted on a chain of polygon blocks. And these two smart contents are then merged into a third smart contract that cannot be separated. So there is a floating system by which the client can never be separated. And this means that these NFTs will never be on the market.”

NFT: the one to watch

LVMH has made other NFT watches under its Tag Heuer brand, which allows you to display your NFT on the watch.

The company also allows you to purchase the watch with cryptocurrency.

Finally, the metaverse plays a big role in LVMH’s future plans, which has a virtual shopping world for Sephora where you can try out daring makeup options.

“Sephora was one of the first brands to offer a virtual augmented reality makeup trial and I think there are a couple of learnings here. First of all, nothing will replace the interaction with a physical product and especially with beauty and skin care. You want to know how it smells, how it feels,” Nelly Mensah, director of Web3 and Metaverse at LVMH, told Euronews Next.

“But what the metaverse offers is inspiration. So, for example, I might not be bold enough to wear orange lipstick, so I would never think of trying it on in the real world, because I think, well, maybe that’s not for me, but in the metaverse it’s very easy. to really go through hundreds of colors really fast.

“So imagine you’re swiping between orange, purple, pink, and then you realize, wait, orange actually looks great on me. So you either order online or go to the store, have a conversation with a beauty consultant, and then buy the physical product. So I think those two go hand in hand.”

While doing your shopping in the metaverse, you can also have a Louis Vuitton bag like NFT. The real thing, of course, can be too expensive for most budgets.

When asked why she would want a digital-only version of the bag, Mensah said that LVMH sees the future of luxury in the metaverse as a combination of the physical and the digital piece.

“We believe that a consumer who spends a lot of time in digital spaces will want to show what they own in the real world. So if he owns a physical retail bag, he will have a digital version,” he said.

“It is a digital twin that will give you even more benefits in the metaverse or, for example, early access to a product or access to a metaverse environment that you can only enter if you have this digital product.

“And the way you have the digital product is that you buy the physical one. So this combination of digital and physical is what we think the future of space will be.”

The beauty of the metaverse

Beauty giant L’Oréal is also entering the metaverse.

Earlier in June, its cosmetics subsidiary, NYX, announced that it would be partnering with metaverse The Sandbox and blockchain lab People of Crypto.

The association will see a collection of avatars featuring different skin tones, gender identification, sexual orientation, and different makeup styles.

“We know that the world is changing where people will want to experience products in the metaverse. So we have to think about what that’s going to mean for a company and if we’re doing it collectively with the digital teams, as well as our research team, and then we’ll look at how we can create value and change people’s behavior and that. that’s always the most challenging part,” Guive Balooch, Global Vice President of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, said in an interview.

“And I think our approach of the last 10 years […] It has helped us understand that we have to really focus on consumer needs and expectations first.”

On its bright white stand, L’Oréal also showcased other technological and beauty innovations.

In the Yves Saint Laurent fragrance booth, you can find the perfect perfume for your mood.

It works with an ECG-based headset, created with the neurotech company EMOTIV, that tracks emotional responses to different scents and then analyzes that data to make different product recommendations.

“When you look at a fragrance today, there are some basic emotions that you are looking at: stress, energy, focus. And today, this kind of field of neurotechnology has been around for 50 years. So it’s not something that came out of nowhere,” Balooch said.

“I think so, this part is moving forward. We are at 95 percent. We are not one hundred percent. So there will be some people who will have to do the experience a couple of times or they may not do it well.

“But we will continue to report back with the data and try to get to a point where we can get it as close to 100 as possible. miraculous in that sense,” he added.

“Some people like fragrances that relax them. Some people like to energize themselves with fragrances. That’s not something headphones can measure. That is why in the beginning, there is still a need for human intervention. First we have to understand what consumers want from their fragrance.”

The beauty of sustainability

One of the most sustainable inventions is the company’s Water Saver.

It’s a shower head that uses rocket engine technology to create a luxurious and efficient hair washing experience while reducing water consumption by 61% compared to standard methods.

For now, it is designed for use in beauty salons and has the potential to help save billions of liters of water a year.

“It allows you to have a droplet size 10 times smaller, which means the speed of the water can be the same, but the efficiency of each droplet is very high. So I don’t feel any difference in this, strength and rinsing, but I can save 61 percent water,” Balooch said.

When asked if this technology could one day be implemented in our homes, he said: “I think, hope and really wish that would be the case.”

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