In honor of May’s Mental Health Awareness month, Dear Evan Hansen, the Tony, Grammy, Olivier-Award winning Broadway musical, is partnering with Blueberry Entertainment, the industry’s leading digital fashion brand, to launch an innovative metaverse fundraising event. Beginning Friday, May 13, 2022, a digital version of the show’s iconic blue striped polo will be available for purchase on Roblox, with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the Child Mind Institute, the not-for-profit dedicated to transforming the lives of children struggling with mental health disorders and learning disorders. In parallel, as part of a partnership with two members of the genre-defining Bored Ape Yacht Club community, two Bored Apes will be dressed in the same blue-striped polo (#5430 and #5838). This partnership will draw attention to Mental Health Awareness Month and also include a donation to the Child Mind Institute. This marks the first time ever that a Broadway show is releasing digital fashion items to multiple metaverse communities.

The blue-striped polo worn by the protagonist in Dear Evan Hansen, now part of The Smithsonian’s permanent collection, has become a symbol of a global yearning for connection – more relevant than ever after two-plus years of a worldwide pandemic. Through this collaboration with Blueberry, audiences will be able to engage with the polo like never before.

The wearable version of the polo sold on Roblox, a leading global metaverse platform with over 55 million daily users, prioritizes accessibility, with an affordable price point (200 Robux / $2.50) and dozens of avatar and outfit customization options. With self-expression being an important part of kids and teens’ experience on the platform, Dear Evan Hansen and Blueberry are meeting the next generation where they spend time with their friends socializing and wearing new fashion items daily, including in support of important social causes. 100% of all proceeds generated will go directly to the Child Mind Institute, a leading non-profit focused on children’s mental health.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 Bored Ape NFTs – unique digital collectibles living on the Ethereum blockchain – that showcases the power and potential of web3 technologies and digital communities. The two Bored Apes (#5430 and #5838), designed and dressed by Blueberry in the blue-striped polo, will draw ongoing awareness to the importance of mental health in digital communities and the web3 ecosystem.

This first-of-its-kind partnership showcases the rise in popularity of digital fashion, a driving force behind self-expression and digital identity across dozens of metaverse communities. Digital fashion is already an enormous business with billions of dollars in sales each year across some of the largest gaming and social platforms. For example, last year one in five of Roblox’s daily users updated their avatars on any given day. Compared to traditional fashion, digital fashion is more sustainable, scalable, and infinitely creative. It empowers designers to release products to market in days as opposed to months and transforms the traditional fashion model to one of ‘accessibility’ versus ‘exclusivity’.”

“Everyone at Dear Evan Hansen is very proud that Evan’s blue-striped polo has become a recognizable symbol of the search for connection,” says Dear Evan Hansen producer Stacey Mindich said. “For several years, we have sold a replica of the onstage polo, with a percentage of profits going to our mental health not-for-profit partners. Now, we are excited to offer this polo to multiple metaverse communities, as the first Broadway show to partner with a digital fashion company, bringing live theater to a whole new audience, while also continuing our focus on philanthropy and mental health wellness.”

“Blueberry is thrilled to be partnering with Dear Evan Hansen and The Child Mind Institute to support a cause which is so relevant to our community,” Mishi McDuff, Founder and CEO of Blueberry Entertainment commented. “Blueberry’s brand ethos is built upon accessibility, inclusivity and togetherness, all of which align closely with Mental Health Awareness month. We hope this is just the start of the metaverse’s collaborations with charities, being a force for good in the physical world as well as the digital.”

Harold Koplewicz, MD, president of the Child Mind Institute, comments: “The Child Mind Institute has been a proud partner of Dear Evan Hansen since the very beginning, when we provided consultation on mental health themes during the show’s development. The way the musical captures the challenges of being a parent and explores the ‘invisible’ struggles of teenagers with mental health challenges is as relevant now as when it premiered. We are so grateful that the producers of Dear Evan Hansen have chosen to give back so much to the mental health community through cause marketing in the past, and we are excited to be the beneficiary of this new adventure in the Metaverse.”