NEW YORK—EssilorLuxottica's Sunglass Hut, in partnership with avatar platform Ready Player Me, has announced their partnership to offer digital sunglasses that allow users to accessorize their avatars, as a first-of-a-kind initiative that merges virtual worlds and physical retail. In a new collaboration which started yesterday, customers can visit select Sunglass Hut stores across the U.S. to claim free sunglasses for their avatars. Clients will be able to scan a QR code on the SmartShopper digital screens inside Sunglass Hut to redeem virtual Ray-Ban and Oakley iconic models for their Ready Player Me avatars.

The company's announcement stated, "The collaboration between Sunglass Hut and Ready Player Me marks a significant milestone in the development of virtual fashion. For the first time, avatars can now sport the latest styles of sunglasses, just like their human counterparts."

Added Giorgio Pradi, Sunglass Hut general manager, "We are excited to offer our customers the opportunity to bring their avatars to life with digital eyewear. Our partnership with Ready Player Me is a pioneering initiative that demonstrates our commitment to innovation and to providing our customers with unique and engaging experiences."

Ready Player Me's avatar creation platform enables users to create custom avatars that can be used across multiple virtual worlds and gaming platforms. The addition of Sunglass Hut's digital sunglasses to this platform offers users a new way to express their personal style in the virtual world.

"We are excited to collaborate with Sunglass Hut to bring digital sunglasses from Ray-Ban and Oakley to our users," said Timmu Tõke, CEO of Ready Player Me, the parent company of Ready Player Me. "We believe that virtual fashion is a rapidly growing market, and this partnership will help us to stay at the forefront of this trend."

Ready Player Me is an interoperable avatar platform for apps and games. It lets people create a 3D avatar with a selfie and use it in 10,000+ compatible apps and games. Users can explore virtual worlds in VRChat, join meetings in Spatial, or stream to fans using Animaze—all with their personal avatar that represents them in virtual worlds.

Founded in 1971, Sunglass Hut now operates more than 3,000 retail locations, with stores in fashionable shopping districts across the globe, from the Americas, Europe and the Middle East to Australia, South Africa, China, Southeast Asia and beyond, offering a highly engaging shopping experience in-store and online The company is part of the EssilorLuxottica Group.