Per Vogue Business, “a digital Gucci bag just resold on Roblox for $4,115, more than the cost of the physical version. Burberry and Farfetch unveiled a 3D world to promote new bags, while Farfetch and Prada are using digital try-on on Snapchat. Meanwhile, a host of marketplaces are positioning themselves to become de facto destinations for digital fashion.” –Paul Ebeling
Cathy Hackl defines it in Vogue Business as a “further convergence of our physical and digital lives’ and that ‘in some ways it’s about the Internet breaking free from the rectangles in our hands, desks and walls and being all around us’ while venture capitalist Matthew Ball adds, ‘The best way to understand the metaverse is to think about the idea that we will spend an ever-increasing amount of our lives connected to persistent virtual simulations. If you believe in that, then the criticality of anything that is important to identity and self-expression intensifies.”
Daniella Loftus, from This Outfit Does Not Exist, a platform for digital fashion, defines digital fashion in three distinct forms:
· The 1st is phygital, digital fashion designed for the aim of producing physical garments.
· The 2nd form is physical and digital combined, which is digital fashion that can be worn using augmented or virtual reality.
· And the 3rd is fully digital, which is digital fashion that is sold directly to an avatar
The metaverse is concerned with the last 2 forms: physical and digital combined, and digital-only.
”If you look at the way we consider fashion in the physical world, it allows us to shape our perceptions of ourselves when we are wearing garments, but also to shape others’ perceptions of us. As we move to the metaverse, you have those functionalities really enhanced. It does not only ensure that you feel a certain way about yourself, or others feel a certain way about you. It is immersing you in that virtual environment and defining the rules of interaction within that environment,” Daniella Loftus explains in Fashion United.
This year, Vogue announced a new theme for the September issue as each of its editions worldwide had a cohesive narrative. ‘New Beginnings,’ stated Vogue Australia, ‘is a reflection on what a recalibration might look like’ in a post pandemic world. The Singapore edition of Vogue, however, stands out from the rest. The issue introduced loyal readers to the potential of fashion in a virtual reality space.
Vogue Singapore Editor in Chief, Norman Tan, shares: ”Fashion and innovation has always been at the heart of what we do at Vogue Singapore. With the global September issue theme of New Beginnings, we took the bold step to venture into the metaverse—the destination for a new class of digital artists and designers… We welcome readers to embark on this digitally-led journey to explore the creative possibilities. With the release of the ‘New Beginnings’ NFTs, we look forward to developing and expanding this emerging platform where fashion, art and design can flourish.”
The issue’s print cover features a QR code, which opens to Vogue Singapore’s fashion metaverse which has two covers, both created by local and international artists. Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing also created a virtual-only look for Vogue Singapore. Titled Flame Dress, the off-shoulder gown was a celebration of Olivier’s tenth year with the Maison. The two covers and Flame Dress will be available for auction on 20th September, alongside 13 beauty, fashion, art and design NFTs.
Per Fashion United, Leslie Holden, co-founder of The Digital Fashion Group, foresees merging fashion and gaming as a career path for designers: ‘‘In the UK alone there are around five thousand fashion design graduates each year, with limited opportunities for employment. I see the metaverse as opening up new marketplaces, new opportunities, and new occupations… The technology we’re using today to create the metaverse has been developed by the gaming industry, which means that the tools weren’t developed for fashion, and like the development of the metaverse itself, we do need to ensure a joined up approach. Epic Games knows this and they are already investing in fashion, and I see the metaverse as the beginning of a new definition of fashion with purpose, potentially powered by new partners. It can be a fantastic opportunity for fashion designers.”
Editor’s Note: The term metaverse coined by author Neal Stephenson in his science fiction novel Snow Crash is now perceived to be the successor of the Internet age. It can extend to digital fashion, augmented reality, virtual stores, gaming and non-fungible tokens, which explains why so many fashion brand are using metaverse to remain relevant.
And what skills should designers develop to be this guide for the metaverse? According to Sean Chiles, co-founder of The Digital Fashion Group, techniques required for digital fashion are similar to bespoke or couture collections where you create an outfit for one customer. ”Digitally you can create so many different iterations of a unique asset that there’s going to be a flood of creative output, a flood of creative NFTs, that can only exist within the metaverse,” he added.
Have a happy prosperous weekend, Keep the Faith!