Metaverse And Fashion
Sit back and imagine yourself in the near future. Imagine that it’s 2040. The physical environment you’re in is not so different. But the physical environment on the other side of your glasses is quite different. You’re at a point where the concept of real and virtual is getting thinner. Maybe you’re questioning your perception of reality, maybe you’re accepting a new reality as it is. As you continue your journey in 2040, you run into a friend in Istanbul or Manhattan, and your friend’s outfit is on fire. And while their Balenciaga couture cape is aflame, they seem relaxed about it. Because, when you yank those goggles off, you see that your friend is wearing no more than a T-shirt and sweatpants.
This scenario is one possible vision of the Metaverse, the nebulous new digital frontier that Silicon Valley can’t stop talking about—and that the fashion world seems equally obsessed by. For today, there is an array of technologies surrounding us, such as blockchains, cryptocurrencies, virtual goods, and more. And even though these developments are still in their infancy, they are bringing us closer to the “Meta universe” that will fundamentally change the way we live on Earth and how we interact with one another. The metadata warehouse or alternative digital space, the next mega-phase of the web, is a combination of AR and VR (Virtual Reality) in the real world, revolutionizing the way we connect, work, dress, and live. Although the word Metaverse is not new, it has attracted attention thanks to both Facebook and fashion companies.
According to the Wall Street Journal, people in the metaverse will live in immersive, shared virtual environments in a vast online universe. In the Metaverse, people can try out products in stores or attend concerts using avatars, just as they would physically. They will be able to bring data and experiences from the Metaverse into the real world, essentially placing them in our environment. The metaverse is, at its core, a parallel universe in which we can work, relate, and communicate. The Metaverse is what completely changed the internet as we know it today.
What About the Fashion Industry?
Faisal Galaria, chief executive officer of Blippar, which creates augmented reality experiences for brands and retailers knows that how important now online is to sales. She adds; ‘’Now imagine you can go from that to you log onto whichever game or social media company you want and all of a sudden, all around you when you [look at your phone, or whichever devices emerge down the line] you are now in the Louis Vuitton store. You haven’t left your home, you’re in the Louis Vuitton store and it’s the best Louis Vuitton store you’ve ever been in. It has infinite capacity, it’s not constrained by the size of the store in Manhattan or Paris, it can be as big as you want and it can be personalized, so it knows what you like and it can have collaborations with your favorite designers and brands. Anything is possible in the metaverse’’
Instead of the still flat Louis Vuitton website, Galaria said, “If that bag was in a virtual store and you could walk around it and you could pick up those shoes and look at them in 3D and try them on, that’s the metaverse.”
Just like in the physical world, fashion plays an important role in our self-expression and is therefore crucial to the representation of our digital avatars. Virtual fashion companies and designers now have the opportunity to enter an entirely new private digital clothing industry. With the advent of digital fashion, the conversation about metadata storage and immutable tokens in fashion is more than ever. Digital fashion has the potential to be a multi-million dollar industry, and innovation is a capital-backed technology.
Since 2019 we saw some of the early examples of what it could be like in the fashion industry. For example, Balenciaga and Fortnite joined hands to design skins and other accessories, Burberry and Tencent work together for its Honor of Kings characters’ skins. Most of these joint ventures also offer buyers a chance to get their hands on a physical garment, like an exclusive, limited-edition piece featured in the game.
One company that has truly embraced the metaverse is Fabricant. An early adopter, it worked alongside Cryptokitties to design the Iridescence dress, the world’s first digital-only dress that was later sold in 2019 for $9500 at an auction. The novel dress based on blockchain technology was created digitally using real-life materials, giving hope that one day its real-life version would exist.
A New Fashion ‘Life’
Fashion Companies will need to collaborate with tech giants and create digital brands for people of varying wealth. People who invest a lot of money in metadata can have their digital businesses and properties, so they can collaborate with companies that don’t exist in the real world. Status symbols like the virtual home you own, virtual designer clothes, cosmetics, and jewelry you wear will become as important as real-world purchases and items.
According to Vogue Business; No one knows how this ideal universe will evolve, but most experts consider the Metaverse to be an inevitable stage in the convergence of humanity and technology, as well as an evolutionary fusion of reality and virtual space. But one thing for sure is a new version of the Internet is being developed and it will have far-reaching consequences. Professionals in different fields, from law to marketing, communications to design, will face new challenges as well as new possibilities. This new era of metaverse will unleash incredible creativity and open new spaces and possibilities for brands and companies.
With the NFT world currently dominating the virtual space for fashion, we can say for sure that the future is looking very bright for the metaverse. It is only a matter of time before our fast-paced evolving digital space will blossom into a world outside of this one.