We discuss innovation and merging the physical world with the virtual with DREST’s Founder, Lucy Yeomans.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

Having moved to the countryside last year, I now split my working week between London and Wiltshire, where we are in the middle of restoring the late photographer Cecil Beaton’s former Queen Anne house. So in addition to driving my 10-year-old to school – a 20-minute drive with not a traffic light in sight but plenty of sheep, deer and other wildlife – I always have to quickly check which tradesmen are due on site for the day. My one luxury when I am working from the country is to steal a quick half hour before sitting down at my desk to walk up onto the hills behind our house. The views are vast and breathtaking and I find I do my best creative thinking of the day while walking, not to mention using this rare moment away from screens and calls to get a clearer perspective on the business and thus better tackle the issues of the day.

DREST has been innovating the luxury fashion and gaming space from the outset. How do you ensure you continually stay ahead of the curve in such a fast-paced industry?

DREST is an immersive and highly creative mobile game and content platform that merges the worlds of luxury fashion, beauty and lifestyle with the infinite possibilities of the metaverse, a space that is evolving at a serious pace so staying ahead of the curve is essential.As DREST is a gaming experience that is inspired and in sync with real-time fashion and cultural news, allowing users to discover, interact with and shop the latest luxury collections as they drop, we are always deeply present in the now, but every day we are also looking to the future in terms of new features developed in our quest to further delight and engage our audience. Ideation often takes the form of asking ourselves how we can harness either the latest technology or indeed types of game play to deliver our audience an even more elevated, creative and interactive experience that both educates and inspires and brings them deeper into the fashion and beauty worlds. Our roadmap is packed full of innovation and exciting feature ideas, so much so that often the biggest challenge is to deliver the necessary tech to bring it all to life. Our avatar system is practically a business in itself and the complexity of the tech behind it is immense and complex. We also continue to iterate on all of every idea that goes into the game based on our players’ feedback – this “co-creative” aspect of DREST is incredibly important to us and ensures the user experience is at the heart of everything we do.


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How does your role impact the teams which drive innovation at DREST and what are the key goals to lead the charge in terms of innovating in the luxury market?

Fashion, gaming and technology are three industries that are united by a desire to innovate, but are also very, very different. In the role of Founder and Chief Brand and Product Officer, my goal every single day is to really unite and inspire the teams around the vision for the business – to create a game-changing interactive platform that excites and engage audiences in the luxury fashion, beauty and lifestyle space in the most creative and fun, gamified way, thus enabling a large global fashion-loving audience to discover and connect and create with the world’s top brands and their latest products.

It is an ambitious goal and requires a multi-disciplined team made up of exceptional talents from the fashion, gaming and tech industries. Bringing together creative minds from diverse backgrounds breeds a truly innovative culture, but it is essential everyone collaborate in an open-minded way and learns quickly from each other, as we set about ideat- ing, problem-solving and overcoming the numerous challenges and breaking down barriers that are par for the course when operating in a greenfield space. A fundamental element of the way we align the teams is to really unify everyone around our audience – current and potential – and their needs, wants and desires. Indeed the initial idea for DREST which I had some 10 years ago now, was born of ob- serving the challenges being faced by many of the luxury brands in how to reach and engage in a meaningful way that still adhered to their often elevated brand values, with a younger audience – their future consumer – who not only had high expectations when it came to content, but who also crucially wanted to be part of the creative conversation, sharing their ideas and their points of view. So ensuring the team deeply understands our audiences’ motivations and behaviours is vital to ensure we deliver a game experience complete with compelling and inspiring real-world narrative and content, that will really blow them away. I am passionate about providing truly special experiences for our players, taking them behind the scenes of some of the most exclusive fashion and lifestyle events, but also allowing them to discover new brands and experiment with their own style. To put it simply, DREST’s principal mission is to open up the often exclusive world of fashion to everyone, everywhere. We want to meaningfully connect our players with the brands, the designers and other creative talents they love and admire. It is this desire for connection and participation that we’re seeing manifest in Web3, and it’s incredibly exciting to be a co-architect of fashion’s metaverse-enabled future.

How does DREST innovate when it comes to content and social and what are the next milestones?

Our daily styling challenges are based on what is happening in the real world. This month, for example, we will be talking about the international Fashion Weeks and in March we will focus on challenges around Awards season, from the Grammys to the BAFTAS and the Oscars. We are also constantly collaborating with top brands and talent in the fashion, beauty, entertainment and travel space to highlight their latest projects. This means our players might get to style some of the world’s most engaging models – Natalia Vodianova, Imaan Hammam, Kate Moss, Precious Lee for example… or in the makeup and hair space work with the creations of Lisa Eldridge, Mary Greenwell, Sam McKnight and Josh Wood. We want to play Drest to be an elevated and highly creative fashion education, and give our players the chance to get noticed by global talent – shoe legend Christian Louboutin recently selected his top looks for his challenges – and possibly even consider building their own real-life styling career.

Regarding Drest’s next milestones, we are now, excitingly, at an important moment in our product’s evolution with DREST moving onto a new faster moving tech platform. With this will come a wealth of exciting new features and gameplay, and DREST will also be available on both iOS and Android. Some highlights of the new ‘levelled up’ DREST’ will include a new look and feel, animation, live events, the ability to personalise avatars, and a raft of compelling new social features that will connect players both with each other and the brands they love.


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What or who is innovative to you and why?

Innovation, to me, is always staying several steps ahead of people’s desires and working out ways to delight, engage, inspire and entertain them that they don’t even know they yet want. Having worked for over 20 years in the fashion industry and publishing, I have seen incredible innovation from brands and designers – Lee McQueen, Karl Lagerfled, Miuccia Prada Virgil Abloh, Stella McCartney etc. – there are so many extraordinary creative minds who are constantly challenging the status quo and making us think about clothes and indeed how we express ourselves differently. Harnessing the magic of technology is to me the next and most exciting step the fashion and beauty industries can take to drive their businesses forward. In a world where physical and digital experiences are becoming ever closer, what excites me is working out how to work with the latest technology to further elevate audience experiences and create meaningful and interesting ways to connect people. I am also passionate about innovations that have the possibility to scale and really change our day-to-day behaviour and overall landscape rather than being one-off moments that cause a press storm or concentrated moment of interest, never to be realised on a wider scale. I remember when Natalie Massenet first told me about her concept for NET-A-PORTER, based on the simple idea of a website in the format of a magazine that would sell luxury items. Back in the 2000s, shopping for luxury brands online seemed unimaginable. Fast forward today when online is on track to be the single biggest luxury sales channel in the coming years. I am incredibly excited about all that the next few years will surely hold, as our under- standing of both the potential and the shape the metaverse will take evolves, and firmly believe DREST, with its focus on innovative tech, community and ultimately the desires of fashion loving audiences everywhere, will be at the forefront of the luxury fashion and lifestyle metaverse space.

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