Making Science

Yahoo Ryot Lab, Selfridges and Charli Cohen partner for immersive shopping experience to celebrate Pokemon's 25th anniversary

David Murphy

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pokémon, Yahoo Ryot Lab, Yahoo’s immersive storytelling production house, has partnered with Selfridges and London-based fashion designer Charli Cohen, to launch Electric/City, an immersive online shopping experience. The collaboration enables consumers to discover and buy limited-edition garments from the Charli Cohen x Pokémon range, as well as an exclusive Charli Cohen digital-only range. Both collections are available to buy at Selfridges and via the Electric/City website.

The digital environment enables shoppers to discover the Charli Cohen collections through an immersive, 360-degree video experience, where shoppers can explore within a “cyberpunk” take on fashion capitals around the world, decorated with neon signs inspired by and celebrating the iconic Pokémon, Pikachu.

Hotspots within the virtual world enable fans to buy items from the Pokémon physical collection. Working in collaboration with Charli Cohen, BlockV, Wolf 3D and Aircards, Yahoo Ryot Lab has created an additional bespoke digital Charli Cohen collection, separate from the Pokémon collection, for fans to buy exclusively in the 3D, immersive virtual store online. Digital Charli Cohen garments bought in Electric/City will be redeemed into an account-secured web-based digital wallet, provided by BlockV, that will enable them to be on show for new owners across different digital platforms.

For the Charli Cohen x Pokémon physical collection, fans can celebrate the 25th anniversary using an exclusive Snapchat lens attached to every garment. For the Charli Cohen digital garments unlock, fans can create their own avatars with Charli Cohen garments to view in AR and share socially. They can also use the wider Charli Cohen collection for their virtual avatars across more than 500 other virtual platforms, including VRChat, Somnium Space and Mozilla Hubs. Fans can also digitally wear a Charli Cohen outfit with an AR body-tracking Snapchat lens.

“We are focused on helping creators and brands bring their immersive experiences to life across the metaverse,” said Sam Field, Director of Creative Technology, EMEA at Yahoo. “Over the last 18 months, we’ve seen huge consumer demand for immersive experiences. For Electric/City, we’ve built what we call a Brandiverse: a hybrid of emerging technologies that create immersive brand experiences at scale. This project combines 3D virtual environments, 4K video streaming, 3D design software for digital clothing, motion capture, blockchain-enabled digital collectibles, augmented reality and more.

"As an industry rooted in innovation, our Brandiverse is a natural fit for fashion brands – embracing the power of immersive storytelling to allow people to explore their identity through fashion in new ways and throughout their physical and digital lives. The combination of The Pokémon Company International, Charli Cohen’s focus on tech-inspired fashion, and a retail powerhouse like Selfridges makes for an incredibly exciting collaboration.”

Charli Cohen added: “Our digital identity has become as important as our physical one as the line between the two continues to blur. With this first of its kind digital store we can give customers the ability to choose whether they want a physical or digital Charli Cohen garment and if digital, what platforms they want to take it into – giving the digital clothing true utility and not just bragging rights.

“Having grown up with the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue on the Game Boy back in the 90's the Pokémon IP holds a lot of nostalgia for us so it's an honour to be part of its anniversary celebration. The limited edition physical collection focuses on Pikachu and uses the number 25 to coincide with Pikachu being 025 in the Pokedex and Pokémon’s 25th birthday.”