Brands and their customers stand to gain greatly from the integration of the fashion industry with the Metaverse.
Since buying or putting on clothing that only exists in a virtual environment might initially appear somewhat bizarre, the concept behind digital fashion can be challenging for many to understand. But as this niche industry has recently continued to grow significantly, many experts are starting to take the notion that the Metaverse will significantly alter the course of fashion seriously.
For instance, before its physical versions are sent into production, these virtual things may be utilized for modeling, sampling, and marketing, considerably reducing the overall environmental effect of a fashion item’s whole lifespan.
Finally, digital models of clothing can assist solve issues related to overproduction, which is often seen as a key barrier in today’s fashion sector, when it comes to the sales side of things.
The allure of online fashion
Cointelegraph contacted Lokesh Rao, CEO of Trace Network Labs, a project that enables marketers to investigate Web3 goods and services, to get a better understanding of whether the concept of digital fashion is just another passing trend or a phenomena that’s here to stay.
The intangibility of fashion in the Metaverse, such as the absence of the requirement for tangible clothing, he continued, makes it simpler for users to explore and build extravagant wardrobes for themselves, far greater than what would be conceivable in the real world. Additionally, because the apparel is in the form of digital collectibles or nonfungible tokens (NFTs), it has a long-term worth that many real or used clothing items do not. This value may be increased by free trading across open NFT marketplaces.
Rao, however, thinks that the Metaverse’s most crucial benefit for the fashion sector is that consumers can use their avatars to visit various stores and try on various outfits before making a purchase choice in a virtual environment. He said, “Having a brick and mortar business in several locations, which is a costly concept, is more preferable to this.”
From the outside, it appears that the Metaverse offers businesses, labels, and fashion houses a variety of benefits, including the ability to build worldwide brand recognition using digital tools and sell “phygital” clothing while providing ease to their consumers.
On the other side, buyers also get a lot of advantages. For instance, users may purchase clothing from a virtual store in physical form or as an NFT, get actual delivery handled from anywhere in the world, and try on clothing at their own convenience, time, and location. They can also preserve their ownership on the blockchain indefinitely.
The way that fashion is defined in the future
Pax’s original founder, Frank Fitzgerald. The fusion of these two worlds, according to World, a platform that lets users build their own metaverse, may have a profound effect on the fashion industry. Younger people are the crucial demographic for digital fashion, especially those who consider their online personas to be an essential component of their social identities, according to Fitzgerald.
While older generations (30+) may find these concepts difficult to understand, he claimed that more individuals will eventually join the movement. In the coming decade, he said, a whole generation of 20 to 30 year olds will be extremely aware of how they seem online and how it affects their relationships with friends and coworkers.
The concept has not won over everyone. The creator of the blockchain-based game Clash of Coins, Stepan Sergeev, of OneWayBlock, does not believe that digital fashion will soon rule the globe. The majority of those that indulge in fashion, whether it be high street or elsewhere, aren’t really hanging out in the Metaverse yet, he told Cointelegraph, adding:
“The point of buying a designer dress, for example, is to have people see you wearing it. If the Metaverse doesn’t yet have enough people in there to see it, its social value is lost. So, unless there is a mass migration of people to the Metaverse, I don’t see that happening. We can maybe see it changing fashion in that people can see more detailed designs of real-life pieces but I don’t think we’ll all be buying NFT dresses the way we do regular ones.”
He compared the condition of the present digital fashion sector to players purchasing custom skins in video games, which limited the usefulness of the things to certain settings. “It may be feasible if things really speed up for the fashion industry and the typical consumer is racing to buy fashion NFTs the same way they are rushing to buy the newest handbag or sneaker.”
Sergeev thinks that big clothing companies and brands have likely adopted the metaverse fashion phenomena as a transitory craze in order to keep up with the times and stay abreast of the most recent technological advancements.
Fashion brands join the Metaverse quickly
Numerous well-known companies, including Adidas, Nike, and Gucci, allegedly generated $137.5 million in NFT sales alone in 2022. The most expensive suit ever sold was a computerized Glass Suit by Dolce & Gabbana that cost the fashion house a cool $1 million late last year.
In addition, D&G’s NFT collection was able to generate $6 million, while Gucci’s Queen Bee Dionysus virtual bag recently sold for 350,000 Robux ($4,000), which is a popular in-game currency used to purchase skins and accessories, exceeding the bag’s real-world value.
Louis Vuitton released a video game in Q4 2021 that allows users to search for 30 NFTs buried throughout its metaverse. Once gathered, these goods gave their owners access to a variety of secret events and VIP gatherings. Similar to this, Balenciaga recently partnered with Fortnite, a video game with over 300 million gamers, to offer players designer skins. Ralph Lauren collaborated with the South Korean social network app Zepeto to offer gamers a virtual clothing line.
Tityanko thinks that the common consumer will have more options for self-expression as the boundary between the actual and virtual worlds continues to close and Web3 introduces new technology developments.
She said that as more businesses become aware of the possibilities of the digital market, several fashion houses, like Gucci, Burberry, and Louis Vuitton, already have substantial teams in place committed to investigating and testing the Web3 domain. According to Vice Media Group data, Gen Z spends twice as much time socializing online as they do in person, Tityanko said.
It will thus be intriguing to see how the fashion industry develops as we move toward a future dominated by decentralized technology, particularly as more and more businesses continue to enter the Metaverse every day.