How the Metaverse is Influencing ‘Real Life’​ Design

Furry walls, squishy, inflatable looking forms and surreal, zero-gravity environments are visual trends that have become synonymous with the digital world. In an ironic role reversal, brands are working to make these impossible aesthetics feasible and bring them into the physical world for immersive retail experiences.

Balenciaga’s fur wrapped pop up in London makes the surreal, real.


The world of NFT’s, cryptocurrency, virtual worlds and the metaverse, which may once have been considered fairly fringe, is shaping up to be one of the most powerful influencers on luxury fashion, design and marketing. Dreamy rendered environments, popularised on Instagram by pages such as @maison_de_sable and @paulmillinski impossibly ‘aesthetically pleasing’ appeal to our sense of fantasy and escapism, as well as giving brands a whole new territory in which to express themselves with no constraints.

@maison_de_sable and @paul_milinksi on instagram

It is not only campaigns directed at Gen-Z consumers that are championing this new look and feel – luxury fashions biggest powerhouses are doing it too. Most notably, Balenciaga’s furry walled London pop up (also now accepting cryptocurrencies in store), Prada’s surreal bucket hat ‘Tropico’ installations and corresponding digital campaign featuring animated versions of the products, and Coach’s tactile ‘squeeze me’ super soft bag campaign. Even brands like Mulberry, which we may think of as erring on the side of traditional have overhauled their most recent digital campaign with bold, rendered, futuristic digitals.



“Brands are working to make these impossible aesthetics feasible and bring them into the physical world for immersive retail experiences.”

Even traditionally led fashion houses like Mulberry are using the digital language of the metaverse for new ‘Lily Zero’ campaign. (left) Coach launched a playful inflatable pop up in London’s soho sqaure. (right)


Glossier’s moss covered installation in their Seattle store is both earthy and futuristic, almost like a ‘physical’ NFT or digital art piece. Digital and metaverse inspired environments have given birth to a design style that is distinctive, fresh and even bolder when recreated in physical spaces. Whether you think the metaverse is a buzzword laden PR hype or the ecosystem of the future, the aesthetic influence it is having on the look and feel of design, from fashion to interiors is here to stay.

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