Digital fashion refers to the 3D representation of clothing in a virtual environment. It includes clothes made specifically for digital environments or a computer replica of physical garments.
Digital fashion gained traction when video games began selling skins, costumes, and accessories for gaming characters. Then, the pandemic brought the whole idea to the mainstream fashion houses.
Due to the lockdown and social distancing laws, clothing brands had to find another way to showcase their products before selling them. Accordingly, they resorted to virtual fashion shows and live shopping.
Meanwhile, virtual clothing and accessories have a broader scope than video games or fashion shows. There are more crucial reasons why the fashion industry is turning to digital fashion.
This article will discuss these reasons and how digital fashion relates to the metaverse.
Why we need Digital Fashion
Virtual Try-on: Have you ever bought a cloth or an accessory that doesn’t fit? Such a situation can be very disappointing, especially when the seller has strict return policies. Notably, you are more likely to buy unfit cloth when you shop in online stores.
Trying on clothes before paying for them will appeal to everyone because you won’t buy a cloth or shoe that is not your size when digital fashion allows you to try the virtual version of the item first.
Efficient use of resources: digital fashion can help producers and consumers of clothing items to reduce their expenses on clothes. The process of designing clothes and accessories requires the use of multiple fabric pieces as samples before the designers can get it right.
However, computer software or mobile apps can do the work of all those sample fabrics. Fashion designers can use 3D design software to make a virtual replica of the original sketch. Moreover, virtual drawings and samples allow them to try different patterns repeatedly without wasting money or other materials.
Today, some people wear clothes to take one or two pictures, and never wear them again. Due to the environmental hazard of such habits, digital fashion provides virtual garments as a suitable alternative.
Social media influencers or people who have regular online meetings can appear in virtual garments while wearing a casual dress.
Through such solutions, digital fashion can help fashion consumers use their resources sustainably.
Environmental impact: The design, production, promotion, shipping, and recycling of physical fashion items lead to energy consumption patterns that degrade the earth. Moreover, fabric and plastic materials also pollute the planet.
On the other hand, producing digital fashion items (clothes and all their accessories) requires only a small amount of energy. As a result, using virtual garments can help improve our environment’s general state.
The future of fashion in the metaverse
Digital fashion will have its best footprint in the metaverse. With many environmental benefits, digital fashion is one of the technologies that will be a core part of the metaverse. Also, creating virtual garments in the form of NFT wearables will encourage actual ownership.
The metaverse is not just a place to play games or walk around. Instead, it is an immersive world where physical events can occur virtually. When going to work in the metaverse, digital fashion will enable you to appear at the virtual office as you would physically.
In addition, your metaverse wardrobe of wearables will include clothes for different occasions. Swimwear, gym wear, party gowns, boots, etc., will be part of your metaverse clothes.
Unlike physical clothes, digital fashion garments do not wear out or tear. Therefore, if you purchase a luxury garment for a special metaverse event, you will be able to sell it anytime.
Metaverse platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox have made special efforts towards encouraging the use of metaverse wearables and promoting digital fashion designers.
Decentraland Fashion Week
In March 2022, Decentraland hosted the first Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW). The event saw an influx of 70 brands, artists, designers, and thousands of attending avatars.
During this event, fashion houses and luxury brands unveiled their NFT wearable collections and metaverse outlets. In addition, there were catwalk competitions and virtual parties where avatars could win digital clothes and accessories.
The following are highlights of Decentraland MVFW:
- The Luxury Fashion District hosted Tour-De-Force, featuring fashion labels like Gary McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Elie Saab, Jacob & Co, etc.
- Rarible Street hosted a temporary space for pop-up outlets of The Fabricant, Girls Gang Label, and the NFT collection of Vault.swiss watches, Placebo Digital Fashion House, etc.
- Phillip Plein opened Plein Plaza and its Museum of NFT Arts, covering 65 parcels of virtual LAND.
- Estee Lauder also launched a flagship store inspired by one of its beauty products.
The Sandbox Digital Fashion Anniversary
In collaboration with Digital Village Multiverse, The Sandbox held a digital fashion contest on March 1, 2022. During the 15-day competition, interested creators were to make virtual garments using Vox Edit and make a submission.
The Digital Fashion Anniversary aimed to encourage self-expression among digital fashion creators. Meanwhile, The Sandbox rewarded contest winners with SAND tokens and recognitions in a fashion magazine.
Digital Fashion vs. Physical Fashion
Will digital fashion replace the clothes you wear? No. This article does not suggest that virtual garments or metaverse wearables can replace physical clothing.
Physical clothes are more important to everybody than digital garments. Nevertheless, virtual garments can reduce the money and resources spent on physical clothes.
Currently, no technology can place a digital garment on a physical body. As a result, we will continue to wear clothes to protect our bodies and to provide public dignity.
Above all, digital fashion helps to check traditional style’s excesses, wastage, and inaccuracy. When fully developed, the metaverse will utilize digital fashion to its absolute capacity.