It’s no secret that the fashion industry has begun to explore the cryptoverse, with brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Philipp Plein, and Tiffany & Co. making their own way down the catwalk of the metaverse.
Decentraland Metaverse Fashion Week hinted at a new wave of fashionwhile Philipp Plein brought the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) right in his London shop. Innovative technology mixed with the ever-changing world of fashion was an inevitable pairing, but there is always room for more.
Even during its early days, the promise of metaverse has convinced people to pay millions for land in virtual worlds, so why not fashion? The fashion industry is always looking for new ways to innovate and create new traditions.
While the metaverse removes the tangible aspect that captivates many in the fashion industry, it is a new way to experience the digital use of beautiful pieces in a personal avatar. Lokesh Rao, CEO of Trace Network Labs, previously told Cointelegraph that “a digital avatar can wear any garment without restrictions on type, design, fabric and use”.
However, as many know, the fashion industry remains one of the most exclusive industries in the world. With Chanel’s bag quota or buying criteria and long waiting list to get an Hermès Birkin or Kelly, much of the influence in the fashion industry comes from exclusivity, price, outfits and, in many cases, who do you know.
And as many fashion enthusiasts understand, there’s nothing like opening the box of a long-coveted piece and holding it, wearing it and loving it for the first time. The idea of luxury is a mixture of exclusivity and passion. Why should fashion in the metaverse be any different?
Maintain and grow traditions.
While leading brands value their traditions, they too should evolve as time goes on. However, attracting a new user base and keeping existing ones entertained is not easy.
In a struggle to keep customers and enthusiasts loyal to the brand, Indrė Viltrakytė, fashion entrepreneur and founder of fashion company Web3 The Rebels, suggested that they “co-create digital wearable devices with members of their community and share the commercial rights, profits or royalties. with them.”
In this case, Viltrakytė told Cointelegraph that digital collectibles could help show fashion enthusiasts’ interest in a brand. These would not only be available to influencers, or the lucky ones who receive PR packages for their large following and interest in a brand, but could be for everyone.
For example, Maison Margiela might offer a set number of digital wearable devices when purchasing a pair of Bianchetto Tabi boots. The boots can be worn in the Metaverse and in real life for those die-hard fans who don’t necessarily have a following behind them.
Tiffany & Co. has already done something similar with their CryptoPunk NFT NFTiff Collection, a collection of CryptoPunk-inspired NFTs that are “exclusive to CryptoPunk holders.”
We are taking NFTs to the next level. Exclusive to CryptoPunks holders, NFTiff transforms your NFT into a custom pendant made by artisans at Tiffany & Co. You’ll also receive an additional NFT version of the pendant. Learn more: https://t.co/FJwCAxw8TN #NFTiff #TiffanyAndCo pic.twitter.com/pyKlWejHv4
— Tiffany & Co. (@TiffanyAndCo) July 31, 2022
By 30 ether (ETH), CryptoPunk holders can secure a physical version of their favorite and probably most expensive NFT to use as a status symbol. This is something that would not be exclusive to those with influence and that can bring online the new era of the Tiffany blue box, an iconic emblem of the brand.
Digital fashion items are not expendable
NFT, according to for the Ethereum Foundation, they are “tokens that we can use to represent ownership of unique items.” They cannot be changed or deleted once minted, and “digital assets never deteriorate,” Viltrakytė said.
Unfortunately, many assets in the fashion industry, like the aforementioned Birkin, who has “outperformed the S&P 500 for 35 years,” according to to Finty, they can be stolen, destroyed or worn over time without proper care. This is where digital assets stand out because, “like some ultra-exclusive non-tangible experiences available today, not everything expensive needs to be ‘touched’ to have value,” Viltrakytė noted.
Also, outside of collectors and caretakers, it’s nearly impossible for an enthusiast to get their hands on an archival piece, especially if preservation might be an issue. Sometimes brands will display their archive in cities like Paris or Milan for a limited time, but in many cases, it’s a private matter owned by private people. However, one way brands can use this exclusivity of a non-deteriorating asset is through blockchain-based NFTs and NFT museums.
Viltrakytė said, “If an NFT gives you direct access to the Chanel archives or the creative director of Hermès, it means the special status you can have or even upgrade over time.” The NFT will never expire and there will always be a way to create a luxurious and exclusive experience.
Another way, he suggested, is to create something like a fashion link, where after some time, the NFT can be exchanged for a luxury item. “For example, if you’re a Hermès customer and you’d like to buy a deed for her daughter and exchange it for a one-of-a-kind bag of hers on her 18th birthday, she can do that seamlessly as an NFT,” she said. . , adding:
“Paper certificates are burned; servers crash and lose data; but blockchain doesn’t lie, and a non-fungible token like that would be 100 times more liquid, verifiable and durable than any traditional document.”
Embrace e-commerce and technology.
As exciting as it is to go into the store and try on, feel, walk around and experience the store and its clothes, e-commerce is already well on its way to becoming the primary way to shop. The metaverse can help make it as luxurious and modern as traveling to Paris to buy a beloved Kelly. A new and creative approach is needed because, as Viltrakytė said, “Now, after COVID-19, 99.99% of brands are selling online, including Hermès.” Brands must accept what technology can do for their image and their customers.
Viltrakytė believes that the industry is in the experimental phase of Web3 and virtual reality to see how they really affect the fashion industry, since “we don’t have solutions capable of making a digital garment ‘fit’. When we have ‘good enough’ depth sensors in the front camera of our smartphones and AR technology that can ‘fit’ any item perfectly to any person, it will be the true beginning of the era of digital wearable devices.”
According to Vogue Business, a Los Angeles modeling agency, Photogenics, has already experienced with this type of technology by creating “avatars through 3D scans of the models’ faces, while their bodies were rendered from scratch”. Models and their avatars, customized to the model’s reality or creative preference, are available for use in the metaverse as virtual models.
Digital handheld devices can also shape who we are online. If one decides to move to the metaverse for various reasons, an identity there is just as important as it is in real life. In fashion, people use details to express themselves, adding their own embroidery to pieces and customizing them to represent their personality. This concept will be just as important online as it is offline, as Viltrakytė suggested:
“Virtual presence can be an extension of one’s physical self and personality, or it can be something completely different from what a person is in real life. I think we will see a mix of those two concepts.”
The simple fact is that the technology is not there yet. But as the fashion industry has shown time and time again, “Our creativity shows how we can harness all this potential in the fashion industry.”