If there is one thing that never goes unfashionable, it’s people’s wish to look stylish and fashionable. That’s what the fashion industry is all about, looking good and keeping up with the recent trends, so it makes wonderful sense that it’s now taking its first steps on the digital runway.
The blend of the physical world of fashion with the digital realm is made possible by the metaverse and promises to be the next evolution of the industry. Virtual reality has the unique ability to bridge the physical and digital realms to create new worlds filled with ideas that cannot be brought to life anywhere else.
The fashion industry understands better than most how GenZ are fascinated by the idea of a digital persona which allows them to define themselves in new ways. Some of the best designers have now embraced this trend, and brought their creativity to a metaverse-loving audience which aims to look its best.
The trend peaked earlier this year with Decentraland’s initial Fashion Week, a series of virtual events which interested dozens of well-known brands and designers, such as Dundas, Dolce & Gabba, Etro and Estée Lauder. The whole experience took place in the metaverse using blockchain tech, held on NFT-based land with digital clothes and accessories worn as NFTs.
The event was a success, even though many attendees acknowledged that the future of fashion is still a work in progress. “The user experience may need some improvement to facilitate mass adoption,” stated Anne-Christine Polet Hatch & Stitch.
“The future is like the past,” stated Kerry Murphy, co-founder of digital fashion house The Fabricant, that created the initial NFT dress ever sold.
Digital fashion is an advancing concept, but it is not completely a new trend. For years, online gamers have embraced the idea of looking stylish by buying special “skins” for their in-game characters. It’s an idea that has caught on in the metaverse as well, with plenty of visitors eager to beautify their avatars to create a more appealing digital persona. There is also interest in digital fashion investors, who think that fashion NFTs could become the next important thing and increase in value.
Novice designers also, see the metaverse as an outlet for their innovative talents. Fashion League is an exclusive game based on its own virtual world, which lets players create their own fashion store and brand, then design and create their own collections of clothes and accessories, participating in design events and fashion shows, compete against other designers and even win real- world prizes. Fashion League is not only aimed at novice designers, as it offers an outlet for established brands as well, to display digital products which may lastly make their way into the real world.
The flexibility of the metaverse is one of its major interests. With a platform such as CEEK, creatives can go a step more and buy their own digital land and use it to host virtual events. Besides, CEEK’s platform hosts real-world fashion events, that can be entered virtually through an affordable VR headset, letting users immerse themselves in the experience from a distance.
The chances will just expand when metaverse becomes a multi-chain world, allowing NFT-based fashion items built on any network to be included in any digital event. With blockchain interoperability, designers who make their creations in the Fashion League or CEEK will may be able to display them at future events hosted in Decentraland, blending with glamorous rich attendees showing their valuable Bored Ape NFT avatars.
There will surly be more crossovers with the real world as well. Fashion is an industry which likes to have its cake and eat it, and now brands as Fred Segal are working to create digital versions of physical products. This, later on, if you purchase a Fred Segal hoodie, you may be entitled to wear a digital version of that same outfit whenever your avatar enters the digital realm. That is to say, fashionistas can replicate their real-life appearance in the metaverse.
Some who have entered the metaverse will deny that it’s a very satisfying experience to create an exclusive and fashionable avatar which reflects your own personality. It’s cheaper and easier to do this than in the real world, and there is no need to worry about being judged because the metaverse can be anonymous too. In this new world, you can become someone else in seconds.
The metaverse promises a future world not defined by mainstream ideas. Instead, it will be a playground for bold and innovative looks, with visions which can’t be recreated using traditional fabrics—think dresses made of gold, silver, fire, water, or steel, shown in a pixelated form. The possibilities are endless, and it is no wonder, the fashion industry, which knows few limits, is paying attention.
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