Is there a future for digital fashion in the Metaverse?

ourtesy by Kat Taylor Cattytay, digital fashion popped up in 2017. We didn’t really start talking about it until 2020. It all started five years ago when Kat first made an Instagram after with the caption “Virtual clothing!!!”

After that there was a collaboration with Adidas, Off-White, Vetements and Balenciaga. These brands were already interested in introducing fashion digitization even before it blew up in the mass media discourse. Keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic was yet to happen and people weren’t sitting at home. So there was no need for digital clothing at all. Yet it happened and the digitization of fashion foretold the future in the virtual realm.

Related: Haute Couture Goes NFT: Digitization at Paris Fashion Week

Sure, we’ve all been testing virtual clothes in computer games long before Cattytay, but it was far from fashionable. Beggars cannot be voters, as we say. These were jeans and shirts in the Sims and various armor in Shooters. But no one could imagine that in the near future we would try branded sneakers in a specially designed application or even do it for money, as happened in March 2021 with the collaboration between Gucci and the Belarusian company Wanna . The first virtual sneakers could be bought in the Gucci application for $12.99 and they could be tried on in Wanna Kiks for $9.00 where, in addition to sneakers, you could buy them (well, rather take a picture on them) and other accessories.

And it reasonably raises some questions: why would anyone want it? Who needs it all? What would you do with it? Digital fashion enthusiasts claim that it saves the environment. As some say, there is no need to buy a real thing for a photo on Instagram. Well, but now what? What is the percentage of people who are constantly buying digital things for posts on social networks? Was that just for fun? Would that be all the time?

There are several possible scenarios. The first, and the most realistic, are the digital fitting rooms. To see how new potential clothes will suit you, it would be nice to try them on without leaving your home. It would be wise to entice customers to these potential applications. Some stores are trying to implement this feature. However, at this stage everything is rather buggy. People are still being entertained and this feature attracts customers. In general, this gives a picture of the attitude of real users towards digital fashion. Currently it is like a game to them while brands see it as a marketing opportunity.

Related: Blockchain-Enabled Digital Fashion Creates New Business Models for Brands

Digital fashion and game industry

Next, where we can use digital fashion is, of course, computer games. For example, with the historic partnership between Balenciaga and Fortnite, buying a Balenciaga-inspired skin in-game gives you the option to buy the piece in real life.

You dressed yourself and then dressed your character – what a genius idea for gamers. Fortnite generally makes good money from built-in purchases, as users have spent over a billion dollars on in-game purchases for their characters.

However, there is an interoperability problem: the skin purchased for one game will not work in another. You dress up your character, but you no longer have your photo for social media. For example, we got Moschino skins for The Sims and Gucci for Tennis Clash.

In 2021, Balenciaga presented a game format collection where all characters are dressed in the clothes of the last season. That’s how cyber aesthetics came into the real world: What was once only in video games, we’re starting to wear in the real world

Ever since Mark Zuckerberg announced the creation of a Metaverse, it seems that the digitized and virtualized reality is becoming more and more natural or even new normal. It just means that we all have to build houses and wear clothes, both in virtual reality and in the real world: whether it’s meeting friends, teaching classes or conducting business negotiations. During one of these negotiations, Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga, al gave an interview in virtual reality.

Therefore, already now we need to think not only about digital fashion, but also about digital design, so that paintings in NFT form can be hung on the walls, regardless of usability.

Related: Why Are Major Global Brands Experimenting With NFTs In The Metaverse?

The realm of digital fashion

In a short time, the digital fashion market grew into a huge empire, incomprehensible to most users. Entrepreneurial business people develop wonderful stories where we hear about sustainability, protecting the planet and unusual designs that will never be executed because they are simply unrealistic for production.

Brands like to use digital fashion as a new opportunity to report, but in fact it doesn’t apply and in life it isn’t as beautiful as it might sound. For example, during the pandemic, the Russian brand Alexander Terekhov launched a promotion where its couture dresses could be put on a photo for $50. According to the comments of participants, it turned out that there were a large number of difficulties and pitfalls – the deadlines were delayed because the photos did not fit and the dresses did not look good on the customer. However, the brand got the desired coverage in the media.

Therefore, digital fashion is another tool to promote the brand or a way of making money for startups and digital designers. In a few months and for $700 all the secrets of the new market will be revealed and one could take their brand to the world of meta fashion. However, the future is unclear. Do you design dresses for well-known brands or do you make your own? Will they actually wear the clothes you make in the Metaverse or use ready-made photos for $50?

Will Metaverse executives promote fashion to the masses and how will brands get along? Will there be meta-stores or will all clothing appear with a click? How will counterfeits deal with and will the brands unite into something bigger?

So far there are more questions than answers, but we are clearly on the brink of a new and very exciting industry that everyone is interested in.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move carries risks, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Coin-Crypto.

Inna Komvarova is the founder of the popular fashion Telegram channel Mamkina. In 2019, she resigned as head of industrial sales at a leading climate company and started working full-time in fashion media.

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