The global fashion week agenda is ready to revolutionize. And the traditional canonical succession, which sees New York open the dances and London warm up the engines of the season in view of the two key events in Milan and Paris, seems to be ready to welcome a new appointment. At the baptism at the beginning of 2022, but ready to conquer a prominent place in the decidedly near future, in which real and digital are destined to dialogue more and more. In fact, the planet of the metaverse aims to hit the world of fashion more and more to the heart. And in a moment when we are talking about Nft, acronym for Non fungible token, literally a non-copyable work, that is something unique that cannot be replaced by another, and of metaverse, a term coined by Neal Stephenson in the book belonging to the cyberpunk culture Snow crash of 1992, and described as a kind of virtual reality, shared through Internetwhere one is represented in three dimensions through one’s avatar, the first virtual fashion week could not be missing.
To baptize her, Decentralanddecentralized platform based on the blockchain Ethereum, in which users have the opportunity to trade through the purchase and sale of land and carry out leisure activities. And among these leisure activities the first appeared Mvfw-Metaverse fashion week, to identify four days of totally virtual fashion and style. There were some of the first fashion houses to accept the invitation Paco Rabanne, Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Tommy Hilfiger, Cavalli, Nicholas Kirkwood, Elie Saab e Imitation of Christ, who unveiled their digital / real collections by showing them on virtual catwalks. Alongside the ready-to-wear brands, a team of companies also active in the world of accessories, from Coach ad Axel Arigatoda Esther Manas a Eytysanimated the agenda of the event thanks to a store designed specifically by the digital fashion house Republiqe together with the retailer Monnier Paris.
Selfridges opened its first flagship. Last but not least, together with the habitué brands of international catwalks, also the stars of the metaverse animated the overall line-up: realities such as The Fabricant, Auroboros o DressX they have in fact unveiled their clothes, only virtual, thanks to digital catwalks and immersive experiences. But not only. Because the event followed the classic pattern of a fashion week, also offering users shopping experiences, thanks to the creation of a virtual space similar to the views of the avenue Montaigne in Paris, where brands had the opportunity to sell items both physical and digital. And not only. Showrooms dedicated to streetwear and emerging talents on the Chinese scene have been created; a cinema was inaugurated where films of Chanel e Lanvin. And between talks by experts and art vernissages, there were also parties and post-défilé parties, such as those of Faith connexionfor instance.
In a tourbillon without limits between the classic past and the technological future. “Fashion and couture are not new to the metaverse. Decentraland has been among the most fashion-conscious players since 2020, when the first outfits dedicated to avatars were launched. Since that moment, our technicians and our creatives have worked to push the limits and give our wearables an ever larger dimension. So much so that in the course of last year the sales of wearables for avatars exceeded a million dollars “, explained Sam Hamilton, creative director of the Decentraland foundation and soul of the first digital fashion week. «Offering purchasable and virtually wearable items is important for the evolution of digital fashion in the metaverse. The real strength of this fashion week lies not only in the prevalence of digital experiences over physical ones, but also in the easier accessibility to the collections of luxury brands. Thanks to the metaverse, they will have the opportunity to dialogue with a much wider and increasingly global audience, without barriers ».
But not only that, because what the metaverse seems to offer is also the dream, that is the possibility for new generation designers and couturiers to imagine crazy and flamboyant creations, impossible in everyday life, but real in the digital universe. Where they are gaining an increasingly important place, laying the foundations for haute virtual couture. “The strength of the metaverse is the dream and with it the possibility of creating fantastic and incredible looks that no one could wear in real life or just imagine for the world we live in”, he clarified in an interview Gospel Bousisfounder together with Peter Dundas of the brand Dundas. Who during the MVFW showed a mix of recent collections and archival pieces, to give the end user an immersive experience, after having conquered the virtual world by creating the NFT of the dress worn in the half time of the Super bowl and Mary J Bligecreated by Dundas himself.
Apart from the Metaverse fashion week, what is surprising is the falling in love with fashion for this reality far from reality. But this time it is not just businessmen and CEOs who are fascinated by it, ready to read in the metaverse a new market to be conquered in order to sustain and make the turnover flourish. What is striking is the passion shown by designers and couturiers, ready to seize all the infinite possibilities offered in terms of creativity and thought. Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana, among the first to seize the opportunities of the digital universe, on the occasion of their Dolce & Gabbana haute couture collection last September they had in fact created a series of Nft related to some creations brought on the catwalk in the setting of Venice and part of the Genesi collection. Auctioned with the platform Unxd, grossed a record over $ 5.6 million. “For Dolce & Gabbana, fashion has always been a fusion of very distant worlds and new technologies have inspired their vision,” said the fashion house.
“When technology is at the service of people and their dreams, it becomes an even more powerful tool”. And precisely in this last assumption there seem to be the keywords ready to decree the success of the metaverse: dream and community. I dream because virtual reality seems to give designers, stylists and couturiers an Eldorado where they can best express their creativity without rules and restraints. And then community, because the world of digital enthusiasts is compact and destined to represent the future of fashionistas. In other words, future consumers of fashion and luxury goods. So much so that according to the latest forecast research by Morgan Stanley, over the next decade the metaverse world could represent a more than $ 50 billion opportunity for luxury goods. The race, similar to that of the gold diggers of the Old West, then began. But by browsing the digital labyrinth, some projects have conquered the international podium.
Structured and built at 360 degrees, they really seem to tell the future of digital fashion, having listened to the tips of Cathy Hackl, considered globally the godmother of the metaverse, who has always preached how the future will be «A further convergence of our physical and digital lives, which will see the Internet free from screens, desks and walls to be all around us». He was among the first to conquer the metaverse Balenciagawhich in September last year announced its collaboration with Epic gamesthe creator behind the worldwide success of Fortnite, a game that boasts 400 million users and a turnover of over 5 billion dollars. The brand designed by worthy was among the first to launch a collection of four virtual outfits and some accessories available for Fortnite avatars, which can only be purchased through the game platform. Alongside, the physical merchandise branded Balenciaga x Fortnite, literally sold like hot cakes (the maison of Dry was among the first to create an ad hoc division to study the metaverse and evaluate future business opportunities, ndr).
Two realities like Ralph Lauren e Gucci they worked closely with Roblox to create two immersive digital experiences. The American brand worked to give life to The Ralph Lauren winter escape, while the Italian reality led by Alessandro Michele he studied in tandem with Roblox the virtual space Gucci garden, inspired by the physical one in Florence. What if Burberrywith the project with Tencent gameslinked to the most famous Chinese online game Honor of kingshas conquered the eastern world, Balmain e Olivier Rousteing together with Mattel e Barbie they recorded unprecedented numbers, baptizing a cross project between real and digital. Alongside the capsule of clothing and accessories, the house has launched three Barbie avatars, each with a complete virtual wardrobe built with the same characteristics as the real one. A project that has sparked Rousteing fans and fans obsessed with the most famous doll in the world. In reality, the Balmain-Rousteing pairing is not new in the metaverse, having already collaborated with the gaming company Altava on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the creative marriage between the brand and the designer.
Above all, being able to count on a designer like Rousteing, who has always been a fashion darling of the digital world, having an account Ig by stellar numbers. Alongside these five stars, an outsider with great development potential and above all a native digital reality. This is DressX, the virtual clothing e-commerce founded by Natalia Modenova e Daria Shapovalova, which started from a simple concept. “We firmly believe that the quantity of clothes produced today is much greater than what humanity needs. We are fascinated by the beauty and physical creation of a dress, but we believe there are ways to produce less, in a more sustainable way. Right now, with DressX we aim to develop another fashion idea. Telling that clothes can also exist only in the digital universe “.
The result? A meta-wardrobe, made up of digital only clothes, Nft fashion items and augmented reality looks, which in just one year from the launch of the project has become the largest digital fashion store in the world aimed at Generation Z and Millennials, which require a new purchasing solution: digital, sustainable and affordable. Fashion therefore seems to be ready to write a new chapter in its history, starting a real revolution-evolution, between fashion week in the metaverse and only digital wardrobe. Which could be perfectly summed up in the founding mantra of DressX itself: Don’t shop less, shop digital fashion. (All rights reserved)
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