Under the auspices of the Hong Kong group AMTD, French luxury media L’Officiel is making a name for itself on Web3. Benjamin Eymère, CEO of L’Officiel and chief metaverse officer of AMTD, details the media outlook at JDN at Binance Blockchain Week in Paris.
JDN. Announced last May, when will L’Officiel’s arrival in The Sandbox metaverse materialize?
Benjamin Eymere. The Official will inaugurate its Land in Sandbox on January 15th during the World Economic Forum in Davos. We work with Sébastien Borget and Arthur Madrid (co-founders of The Sandbox, ed) and my teams around a fairly innovative concept, with an idea of Land Art in the metaverse. We are also working on another project on finance in the metaverse. This too will be unveiled on January 15 in Davos.
L’Officiel is a historical media. At first glance, this dive might surprise you: how did you start it?
As CEO of L’Officiel, I have always had this deep interest in everything related to dematerialization. One of the great strengths of our media, which is 100 years old, are his archives. We have more than 800,000 archive images, more than 190,000 multi-translated articles and to give value to this set, the use of AI, data, the cloud, like today’s blockchain today, is needed to protect it. L’Officiel was acquired by AMTD, a Hong Kong conglomerate listed on the NYSE and part of the value we have defended with the group has been the protection of all data acquired throughout our history. For a media, this orientation is almost the only way today.
More and more luxury groups are experimenting with the concepts of Web3, NFT and metaverse. But can the experience of luxury linked to materials and craftsmanship be translated into the virtual?
From a traditional perspective, it’s interesting to think of NFT as a CRM tool. Many brands think so: digital rights that entitle you to digital or physical experiences. Now, Gucci, for example, could very well give its NFT owners privileged access to a metaverse it created entirely; Personally, I care more. I help a company called Transcend, net-a-porter of the metaverse, and we worked on the idea of digital fabrics. Like an NFT, digital textile material is a smart contract and can contain added value: video, access, rights.
How do you plan to attract your audience to your metaverse?
I don’t believe in the single metaverse, on the contrary I work on the idea of the multiverse. I think it will have to be accepted that there will be metaverses of Lamborghini fans or fans of garden gnomes, it will be driven by interests. People criticize Web3 because it only affects a limited number of users, but Web3’s audience must be found in Web2 or 1. What I’m interested in is creating experiences, for people who have common passions. I don’t think metaverses should be judged on their current quality: everything that exists is already very good, technology will evolve, more metaverses will arrive, and there will be something for everyone.
Appointed CEO of L’Officiel since 2017, nine years after his arrival at Jalou Editions, Benjamin Eymere has also taken over the reins of the metaverse division of the Hong Kong parent company AMTD. A bit “anarchist and libertarian” in his own words, he too is the creator of his metaverse, Themaverse.