Gaming style

More and more of us are embracing augmented reality, but how does gaming cross into the territory of style?

Enter Drest: the world’s first luxury convergence platform with gamification, shopping, creativity, content and entertainment. Imagined and founded by Lucy Yeomans, former editor-in-chief of Porter, Net-A-Porter and Harper’s Bazaar UK, it turns gamers into stylists and allows fashion brands to connect with consumers in a creative and interactive way.

If you’re questioning whether this concept will work, just know that in 2019, 63 per cent of mobile-game consumers were women, and augmented reality technology is only growing day by day. Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Off-White, Loewe, Chloé, Thom Browne, Burberry and Stella McCartney are already on board, and the app is still in its soft launch phase with full features set to be rolled out later this year.


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So how does it work? You get to flex your styling muscles by dressing up an avatar using in-game currency. Once you have chosen her hair and makeup, positioned her in whatever setting you want, your look is released to the Drest community for users to rate. If you fall in love with the look, you can then shop it via Farfetch or brands dedicated webiste. With time, users will have supermodels, influencers and even their own avatar to style.

Drest aims to democratise fashion content, and encourages the sustainable production of content as well as thoughtful consumerism, allowing fashion lovers to express themselves and experiment virtually – to ‘style before they buy’. The platform will also incorporate philanthropy at its core by spearheading initiatives as well as donating five per cent of every micro-transaction generated in-game to causes that support digital responsibility, mental health, body positivity and female empowerment.

Below, we speak to key members of the Drest team to learn more about why this is the future of gaming and fashion.

Lucy Yeomans, Creator, Founder & CEO, Drest


When did you realise that a gaming element can help a lot with engaging people in fashion?

About ten years ago, when my nephews discovered video games, I noticed an interesting synergy between gaming and fashion. The two worlds actually have a great deal in common: immersive storytelling and fundamental elements of fantasy and escapism. Back then, gaming was very much targeted at a young male audience, whereas now the gaming audience is larger than that of film, television and music audiences combined and more than 60 per cent of those engaging with gaming are female. During my Net-A-Porter years, brands were increasingly asking for ideas and content pitches that would resonate with the Millennial and Gen Z audiences so they could engage with them in innovative and more immersive ways, gaming affords a uniquely interactive and highly engaging experience and so my idea to create the world’s first luxury fashion game was born.

What do you hope users will take away?

I hope Drest will allow a wider audience to get close to the highly creative and expressive world of fashion: getting to know the designers, the brands, the stylists, the models and their stories, as well as, of course, discovering the eclectic and beautiful array of luxury products at close quarters. Above all, however, I hope Drest will become a place for users to unleash and realise their creativity. The platform encourages and celebrates individuality and self-expression and I am constantly blown away by the beauty and flair of our users’ creations.

What was it like entering a gaming space from a fashion angle?

Some have said that the bringing together of the worlds of fashion and gaming is an industry disruptor, whereas I see Drest, like other technology innovations, as simply the next step in the evolution and democratisation of the fashion content, inspiration and discovery journey. And one, that I hope, adds a new layer of fun, creativity and delight to the experience, enabling audiences everywhere, and not just the select few, to have access to, discover and enjoy all that our incredible world has to offer.

We spend more time on our phones than ever, how do you manage to switch off?

I am a big walker – be it in London or the country – I love being outside so am particularly excited about an upcoming collaboration between Drest and a fitness app that promotes and rewards taking steps outside. I also love to read, and since my daughter started reading (she’s now seven) I have abandoned the Kindle in favour of printed books so she understands the difference between me working and being on email and actually enjoying a great novel or biography.

In a fast-moving tech world, how does Drest stand out and what are your ambitions?

Drest blends the real and virtual fashion worlds together like no other app, giving users access to the most influential and inspirational people, brands and locations. This year we are launching an incredible cast of real-life supermodels into the game and will grow our digital assortment to include menswear, fine jewellery and watches. Our roadmap is filled with new features – one of which will be part of our exciting partnership with Elbi – Natalia Vodianova’s social enterprise platform. We will integrate philanthropy into our tech, enabling users to learn about and donate directly to charities without having to leave the Drest app.

drest fashion app

Lisa Bridgett, Chief Operating Officer

What was it about the concept of Drest that appealed to you?

Drest has so many facets; it’s a polyconcept, a true convergence platform that interweaves gamification, personalised daily content and e-commerce into one. We are carving out a greenfield business model which really excites me.

How has your experience at Net-A-Porter and The Modist shaped your approach to Drest?

Net-A-Porter provided me with a bedrock of learning across the world of fashion and e-commerce. I learned practically everything I know around retail and digital from my time there. Following that, The Modist introduced me to the world of the start-up – it was an incredible experience and I was lucky to work with an incredible founding team. Both roles have set me up for so much success as I re-join Lucy in this new venture.

Why do you think Drest is relevant to today’s consumers?

Drest has content, gamification, shopping, entertainment and philanthropy fully embedded into the platform. Today’s consumers are creators, seeking ways to express themselves in an authentic and user generated way. They value and demand realness in their virtual lives and strive to make the world a better place – we recognise this and understand the need to engage with users in ways beyond pure traditional advertising. Our fashion game gives users everywhere virtual access to all the elements that, until now, only magazine editors could enjoy – beautiful new season clothes, top supermodels, stylish hair and makeup as well as incredible locations – to compete with and create their own fashion stories. Every piece styled and experimented with can also be shopped in real life through Farfetch and brands directly. Drest is a true end-to-end consumer experience.

Do you think apps like this can contribute to sustainability efforts in fashion?

Absolutely, we create beautiful fashion content virtually and so limit the impact on the environment. We are also talking to a number of brands about using Drest to test products digitally so they can optimise supply and demand, scaling orders accordingly, or even prototype new designs. We also believe that our platform will lead to more thoughtful consumerism, allowing people to discover brands, satisfy their desire for newness and to experiment virtually and ‘style before they buy’.


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Emily Yim, Director of Product Management

What gaming features have really connected with the users?

The photoshoot challenges which feature fashion industry leaders, actresses and historic women really connect with our users. Our editorial team create challenges that are in line with real-time events, so the newsfeed is current and topical – something that our audience responds really well to.

What are you working on at the moment?

We are bringing real-life supermodels into the game, so I’m currently testing among a small group how this feature affects and improves the overall user experience. I’m also working to strengthen Drest’s core loop, and I believe that one of the features that will help to do this is through improving the community aspect so that scores are determined by the audience, leading to a more immersive experience.

How do you see the gaming element evolving across the fashion industry?

I think it’s going to evolve hugely over the next two decades. The younger generations have grown up with smartphones, enjoying exposure to gaming and constant access to tech and digital platforms. Fashion, like many established industries, needs to iterate and go beyond.

Do you think there are enough women in the gaming industry?

As a whole, the gaming industry is still predominantly made up of men, from tech and engineering teams right the way through to board level. A lot of games are optimised and geared towards men – but with the shift we’re seeing (where more mobile gamers are now female) I hope more young women will consider gaming as an industry for them – particularly as more companies are focusing on games for women.

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Images: Instagram, Supplied