NellyRodi inaugurates its agency in the Metaverse!Interviews
NellyRodi is pleased to announce its recent arrival in the Metaverse! The agency, always driven by innovation, was determined to create its own virtual space in order to better anticipate future evolutions. NellyRodi CEO Pierre-François Le Louët and bem.builders founder Paul Mouginot talk about this new digital experience.
Pierre-François: Could you tell us why you decided to establish NellyRodi in the metaverse?
NellyRodi is a powerful brand synonymous with inspiration, creativity and innovation, and Web3 opens huge possibilities of expression for brands. Therefore, it was actually perfectly natural to establish our presence in the metaverse.
We have always believed that technology opens up new territories of creative expression for designers. Last year, for instance, we featured some superb patterns in our trend books that were created using artificial intelligence.
At NellyRodi we have a habit of testing experiences on ourselves before recommending them to our clients! We therefore invested in the metaverse with the firm intention of increasing the desirability of our own brand and developing an augmented experience, because what’s visible in the metaverse is only visible in the metaverse.
Among the many dematerialized spaces of expression available, we chose Cryptovoxels. Compared to other worlds such as Decentraland or Somnium Space, the aesthetics are more “voxelized”, like the Minecraft aesthetics, for example. Cryptovoxels is also in our opinion the most experimental metaverse, where artists and creatives come to build, present their digital creations, share ideas, meet and even party. It’s also a world that anyone can access directly via a link, without necessarily having to create a wallet. What’s important for us is to use this space as an extension of our Paris headquarters, open to everyone. With this in mind, we recreated a mini NellyRodi agency with a meeting space on the ground floor and an exhibition and inspiration space above. The site we chose suits us perfectly. It’s on the seaside, a small island far from buzzy boulevards, but close to a very pleasant restaurant! It will be in this small, very Frenchy hôtel particulier that our community will find allusions to some very NellyRodi codes (the furniture designed by Studio Nocc for our Parisian hôtel particulier, for example). Here, our visitors will discover a series of photos by the visual artist SMITH and a film made by the Elsa & Johanna duo for NellyRodi. Both were inspired by our “Planet B” theme, currently presented in our Fall/Winter 2023 Color Intelligence trend book. In the future, we plan to use this space as part of our missions to share their exceptionally digital components in a more relevant manner.
To help us purchase the land, build and organize the exhibition, we called upon the services of our friends at the bem.builders agency, and Paul Mouginot in particular, who share the same creative sensibility as NellyRodi.
Paul: Could you tell us how the metaverse presents new opportunities for brands?
It’s a complex question as metaverses are expanding rapidly and like any market in formation, use cases have not yet been fully identified or demonstrated. However, when you’re interested in technology, the key is really about getting started and experimenting, even if it means making a few mistakes. During the pandemic, many brands that had fallen behind on their e-commerce strategy caught up, and even better, mobilized more equipment to collect, process and exploit their data. Today, the enthusiasm shown by many brands to immerse themselves in these virtual worlds as they unfold is substantial, but I doubt that any of them would really expect their customers to wear a virtual headset all day long to explore their content. However, the metaverses can be used to reveal what I call the “digital aura” of certain brand projects, products or services; they are perfect territories for sharing strong statements, and for fashion and design in particular, the ideal place for testing the boldest creative proposals. As concerns the bem.builders agency, we are extremely interested in the idea of neighborhood and all possible encounters with the other inhabitants of these metaverses. Such encounters are a true source of serendipity.
Pierre-François: Could you tell us what impact this experience has had on the NellyRodi team and what you have learned from it?
All this happened very quickly, with a lot of agility and a great deal of enthusiasm! You know that our Parisian premises hosts a contemporary art gallery, and we also regularly organize concerts. So, our aim now in Cryptovoxels is to create new experiences which we hope will provide our friends and clients with even more inspiration. Some of these experiences will echo the Parisian ones, while others will be totally exclusive to our metaverse establishment. One thing is for sure though, working on this project has made us all very happy and we have learned a lot from it. For many adults, the metaverse is very new, but not for GenZers who are already familiar with parallel worlds, which are an important source of their consumption. Second Life, TikTok, Minecraft, Cryptovoxels, The Sandbox and others have defined a new territory of play and consumption and I’m extremely pleased that NellyRodi is now a part of it.
Paul: Could you explain how you actually build a space in the metaverse?
To start, a piece of virtual land must be found and negotiated; we then purchase it using cryptocurrency, such as ethers (ETH), that have been converted from conventional currency (or fiat money). This isn’t always an easy operation, as of course we always want to find the ideal location for our clients. A metaverse plot comes in NFT (Non Fungible Token) format, which means that it can be materialized and transmitted if necessary.
Once the property is purchased, the owners can construct a building, which involves knowing what kind of experience they wish to provide their visitors. This is where an agency specialized in conceptualization and 3D modeling proves beneficial. At our agency, my brother Adrien Mouginot is an expert in specific art direction and CGI creation skills. Sometimes, in vast worlds like The Sandbox, an entire game has to be designed, complete with its stories, 3D assets and territories – it’s actually a profession in its own right.
For NellyRodi we were convinced that creating universes that visitors will really want to explore and enjoy roaming around was primordial. This is why adapting the visual codes of the Hôtel Cromot du Bourg was the right choice and the intense modeling work it involved ensures the best possible visual quality as well as new and renewed opportunities for discovery.