With torrential flooding threatening to turn this afternoon’s opening session of Sephoria into a flotsam of beauty debris, the show will go on…just only in the metaverse.
This afternoon, shortly after the Governor of New York declared a State of Emergency in New York City and surrounding areas due to severe rainfall and flooding, Sephora pulled the plug on all Sephoria sessions scheduled for September 29th, “out of an abundance of caution for the safety and wellbeing of Sephora’s employees, customers, brand partners, and larger beauty community.”
Customers who purchased tickets for today’s in person event have been informed they will be offered full refunds and will receive the gift bag associated with the ticket they purchased. And in lieu of the live experience, they were invited to an immersive virtual iteration of the event, SEPHORiA: House of Beauty. In this interactive Web3 universe, they can customize their own avatars, redeem a free NFT badge that can be added to crypto wallets, live chat with Sephora Beauty Advisors, and play games to earn points to Sephora’s loyalty program, Beauty Insider.
A tour through this digital wonderland today yielded three NFTS and six free lipsticks based on answers to memory matching games and beauty trivia questions like, “What is the average lifespan of an eyelash.” Spoiler alert: The complete life cycle of the average eyelash is four to eleven months, according to the Journal of Optometry.
The event, which was scheduled to be held at the Skylight at Essex Crossing in Lower Manhattan on 135 Delancey Street, would have been Sephora’s first in person event since 2019. According to a Sephora spokesperson, the brand is proceeding as planned for Saturday’s events and will be monitoring New York’s State of Emergency warnings and weather to determine the safety of resuming SEPHORiA tomorrow.
It has been said, by Sephora and others, that the metaverse has the potential to democratize fashion and beauty. But in a time when cataclysmic weather events are becoming increasingly common and unpredictable, it might also be an insurance plan, a way for beauty brands to ensure that months of planning that go into a big experiential events don’t get blown up by something no one can control—like the irrevocable toll of climate change on weather patterns.