Everybody knows about metaverse since Mark Zuckerberg transformed Facebook into Meta. For those people who are still oblivious about metaverse, it is a formation of virtual worlds that exist outside of online gaming platforms. The Metaverse Fashion Week combines the aspects of the digital and physical worlds.
As most people believe that metaverse is the future of the internet, even the fashion industry is moving into virtual reality. Digital clothes are not a new term but now people can buy them for themselves as well as their gaming avatars. Fashion brands are creating digital clothing on blockchain that is available via NFTs.
People might own cool dresses in the virtual world, but they have nothing to show for their spending in real life. Shockingly, many people are still spending money on digital clothes as Instagram influencers are turning digital fashion into a new trend. So, is this the end of real-life fashion?
Fashion Industry’s Reaction To Digital Fashion
The fashion industry shows a mixed response toward digitizing fashion and clothes. Most brands accept this trend with open arms and quickly try to become a part of digital transformation.
The less techy population is wondering why the fashion industry is quick to accept metaverse and digital fashion. This is because the pandemic of Covid-19 and followed by lockdown extremely affected all industries worldwide. Despite clothes being an all-time necessity, designers and clothing brands also suffered great losses.
Therefore, the fashion industry believes digital clothes, NFTs, and cryptos are the best way to revive and reach their audience. The digital world has provided an opportunity for fashion designers to showcase their collections online and reach their audience. To promote this trend, the first metaverse fashion week was held in March 2022. This presented designers to present their best collections in the digital sphere and make a strong comeback.
Brands and Their Decision to Move Towards Digital Fashion
Most fashion brands are stating that their decision to embrace metaverse is not only dependent on flashy marketing ploys. Famous brands like Burberry, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger claim that they are supporting digital clothes because they are eco-friendly. Metaverse fashion will allow them to minimize the production of physical garments which will reduce waste created during the design and fitting processes.
Even if the fashion industry is making its way toward the metaverse, it is impossible to accomplish this without the aid of social media. Fortunately for fashion designers, social media influencers are on board. Many Instagram influencers are trying out digital clothing and encouraging their followers as well.
However, the metaverse is allowing designers to create their own influencers in virtual reality. The influencer Lil Miquela is a CGI-created social media influencer with over 3 million followers. She is running fashion campaigns for Calvin Klein with human supermodels. So, virtual influencers are about to become more common on social media and fashion brands will use it to their benefit as much as they can.
How Does Digital Clothing Work?
Digital clothing is created using real-life templates tailored in the metaverse using professional 3D applications. Customers in the Metaverse see the 3D representation of the item they want to buy. They can also virtually try on clothes by dragging different clothing pieces over a 3D representation of themselves.
People can shop in metaverse using two transaction modes: on-chain and off-chain. The on-chain transaction requires customers to open a cryptocurrency wallet inside the metaverse. Then the buyer uses cryptos to purchase digital clothes which become a digital asset. In comparison, the off-chain transaction occurs without a crypto wallet. Buyers can pay through their regular credit cards.
The Connection Between NFTs And The Metaverse Fashion
The primary reason digital fashion is spreading is that people like to shop from businesses that deliver personalized experiences. Digital clothes and NFTs are a new commodity, allowing people to experience something new and exotic. Moreover, people are drawn to NFTs as they appear as vivid and larger-than-life digital assets.
Nonfungible tokens or NFTs are unique cryptographic assets in blockchains. The blockchains are responsible for verifying NFTs’ authentication and ownership. These tokens allow people to purchase, sell, or exchange real-world commodities, such as artwork, digital clothing, and real estate.
NFTs are used to authenticate products or serve as collectible pieces in the fashion world. Some luxury brands including Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry are experimenting to create their own NFTs. This is because the NFTs bring a new level of exclusivity to buying clothing. Fashion brands are availing this opportunity to turn digital designs and clothing into highly scarce, valuable, luxurious, and unique collection pieces.
The Metaverse Fashion Week And Other Digital Events
The digital transformation of fashion is enabling brands to use NFTs and blockchain technology to attract and connect with authentic customers from all over the world. The biggest event to celebrate this opportunity was organized from March 23 to March 27, 2022. The first-ever metaverse fashion week was held in Decentraland, which is a decentralized virtual social platform on the Ethereum blockchain.
This one of a kind fashion week, featured premium labels, household names, and digital-native designers such as DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Paco Rabanne, Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Charles & Keith, and Prive Porter. In addition, prominent web3 companies such as DeadFellaz, The Sevens, 8SIAN, Fang Gang, and The Mortiverse also participated in the fashion week to show their support.
This event displayed amazing shows during catwalks such as models flying on runways and having dance-offs using their avatars. All of the customized shows highlighted the lack of limitations in the metaverse. Dolce & Gabbana even used cats in place of models on the catwalk.
Currently, all fashion brands are investing in digital garments. At the beginning of 2022, Balmain announced a collaboration with Barbie to launch a ready-to-wear fashion and accessories line. Another global designer brand Rebecca Minkoff from New York is offering apparel, handbags, jewellery, and accessories in the metaverse.
Metaverse is also catching up with the sportswear industry. At the end of 2021, Nike made a huge investment in the metaverse by acquiring RTFKT, which is a leading virtual fashion platform famous for creating virtual sneakers. Other sportswear brands are also following in Nike’s footsteps. Recently, Adidas announced that its new collection will be a mix of digital and physical items that will be sold as NFTs.
Social media and the fashion industry are encouraging people to invest in virtual garments. The Gen Z population loves this shift as it allows them to buy clothes that express their true self. Most luxury and designer brands are launching new collections in the metaverse, but it is still a long way to go. As virtual clothes don’t exist in reality, it is too soon to say that they will eclipse real-life fashion because people still want to own a real clothing item for their money.