The Future of Fashion in Metaverse: Here’s What to Expect
Fashion in Metaverse is the future of digital fashion in the Metaverse. You wake up, yawn, ignore your phone messages, and open the closet door. It’s time to figure out who you want to be today and how you want to do fashion in metaverse. Your Gucci sweater and Burberry trench coat hang neatly above a row of flawless Nike sneakers, but you feel less human today and more… like a highly intelligent mollusk. You notice the hoodie with eight arms you purchased for the occasion and decide that today you will be an octopus.
The era of Web3 fashion in Metaverse
Welcome to the fashion in Metaverse, where your daily routine of expressing your personality will be taken to its most logical—and most likely illogical—extreme. The Internet has irreversibly changed the way we shop for clothes, and social media has transformed our fashion sense. However, the arrival of Web3 is about to drastically alter our perception of fashion.
Getting dressed in the near future will not simply entail putting on a shirt and pants and going outside; rather, it will entail selecting the form —human, animal, object, or other — that can represent you at any given moment and then adorning that avatar with clothes created by designers free of the constraints of the physical world.
A new wave of tech startups is working to shape the fashion of the future — one fit for the metaverse — and they’re being joined by an increasing number of fashion brands in Metaverse.
Gucci launched a collaboration with the gaming platform Roblox in the spring of 2021; in February 2022, he released a collection of NFTs and —that same month— purchased a virtual plot in The Sandbox, an Ethereum-based digital world.
First Metaverse Fashion Week on the virtual world
Dolce & Gabbana, on the other hand, earned an impressive 1,885,719 ETH (over $5.5 million at current exchange rates) with their Collezione Genesi NFTs last September, and he headlined the first Metaverse Fashion Week on the virtual world platform Decentraland in March of this year.
While Balenciaga launched a new division dedicated to developing products and experiences for the Metaverse in December, CEO Cédric Charbit predicts that the effort will take the maison “to the next level.” In addition, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, adidas, and Ralph Lauren have all launched their own projects in recent months. The most notable example: Nike announced the acquisition of RTFKT at the end of 2021, placing the NFT tennis company’s logo alongside those of its main fashion brands in Metaverse: Nike, Jordan, and Converse.
“When I saw the (Nike) press release, it gave me goosebumps,” says Brian Trunzo, metaverse lead for blockchain technology company Polygon Studios, which recently announced a partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to help introduce fashion brands on the Web3. “You forget that not even LeBron is treated as a full subsidiary brand within Nike, so they were implying that RTFKT is bigger than LeBron in a subtle way.” “It validated the space,” he says.
How do you paint the panorama of digital fashion in Metaverse?
All of these efforts demonstrate that digital fashion in Metaverse is here to stay, with the industry fully mobilized and involved, and that, as Trunzo predicts, “the digital clothing market dwarfs that of physical clothing.” Some significant obstacles must still be overcome before this can happen “in the next decade or two.” The first and most significant barrier is getting the general public to understand what digital fashion is and why it matters.
The truth is that many of us already spend the majority of our time in the metaverse. “Today, you could say that our physical lives are our secondary lives,” says Bobby Kim, co-founder of the Los Angeles-based streetwear brand The Hundreds. The creator launched an NFT subdivision in 2021. Adam Bomb Squad, a platform that allows owners to shop for exclusive releases of physical and digital clothing, sold $8 million in its first week. “To a large extent, our main life exists online.” If that’s the case, Kim contends, how we present ourselves online should be as important as, if not more important than, what we wear on our physical bodies. “Fashion, in the end, is a form of self-expression and identity.” I believe we are at a historical crossroads where we will redefine what fashion means. “There is no body now,” Bobby says.
Fashion will soon evolve beyond a mere outward expression
In theory, you can take any shape you want in the metaverse. It is possible to be amorphous, translucent, or even invisible. In slightly eccentric and metaphysical terms, this means that fashion will soon evolve beyond a mere outward expression of our inner selves and become a truer manifestation of “what your soul is,” as Kim explains. “Some people might identify as a blue square,” she says. “Others are identifiable as telephone poles.” That may sound crazy and silly, and it may offend a lot of people, but consider what it means. It’s not that these people believe they are a telephone pole in the physical world; rather, for whatever reason, such as art, this is how they would like to express themselves, because it reflects something about them.” In other words, the avatar you choose in the metaverse serves the same purpose as the clothes you wear in real life—the avatar is fashion brands in Metaverse.
The main obstacle to that abstract vision of infinite possibilities?
Technology does not yet have the capability of satisfying our boundless imagination. The processing power of a laptop or smartphone is insufficient for the high-definition visual expression that most futurists envision: in order to function seamlessly with a large audience, some of the largest platforms, such as The Sandbox and Decentraland, continue to use blocky graphics that look like something out of a ’80s sci-fi movie. Despite all of the hype and investment, most people still find the metaverse difficult to grasp. the populace Today, it’s a collection of scenarios—centralized gaming platforms, decentralized open worlds, blockchain, and social media—all competing for your money and attention like a ravenous Moroccan bazaar.
That’s where innovative figures like Charli Cohen, a 32-year-old UK-based designer who has been at the forefront of the digital fashion in Metaverse revolution for nearly a decade, come into play. She began experimenting with augmented reality alongside her physical collection in order to reach a larger global audience, before collaborating with games like Assassin’s Creed and assisting traditional fashion companies like Selfridges in their transition to Web3. RSTLSS, her new platform backed by Paris Hilton, aims to break down the virtual walls that currently stifle creators and consumers alike.
“We were doing more and more collaborations where we were integrating products into different gaming and social scenarios,” Cohen explains. “It was a very messy, complicated licensing process, and it wasn’t a great customer experience.” The goal of RSTLSS is to remove all of that complexity by allowing users to customize wearables (i.e., digital fashion in Metaverse for their avatars), coin them as NFTs, and then take them to a variety of places in the Metaverse—video games, open worlds, social media avatars—as well as the ability to buy a physical version to wear in real life. If you want a new Billie Eilish hoodie, you can make a one-time purchase on RSTLSS and then wear it in Fortnite, Decentraland, Twitter, and school.
How will dressing up in digital fashion become second nature?
According to Charli, the vast majority of us will see this as a second choice before we know it. “Think about it this way: we’re chatting on Zoom, and no one was chatting around here until 2020.” In the case of Web 2.0 social media, for example, early adopters made it normal for everyone without even realizing it. It will be brought up. Dressing up in digital clothing will become second nature, something you will do constantly, in the same way that social media is heavily tied to identity—choosing a profile picture, organizing your Instagram grid—she notes.
If and when that widespread expansion occurs, the nature of fashion—of identity—will change in ways not seen in centuries. Our nostalgia cycles have been accelerated and amplified to the point where Y2K fashion is a stronger trend now than it was 20 years ago. Despite the risks and controversies inherent in Web3 in its current form, it may hold the key to propelling digital fashion in Metaverse.
So, while some experts believe that more money will be spent on digital fashion in Metaverse in the future, it will almost certainly never completely replace real clothing. Eventually, we’ll arrive at a stranger, more fascinating state in which the clothes we wear in the metaverse are no longer inspired by their physical counterparts such as having a digital copy of Balenciaga pants debut on the runway, but instead begin to occur.
What happens next with fashion in Metaverse?
What happens if your digital avatar’s clothes, which have wings instead of arms and seven eyes, influence the clothes you wear to work? How will designers translate the Internet’s freedom of identity and expression to the moments when we choose to disconnect and interact in person?
As we progress further into our crypto-fueled future, fashion—for all of its possible frivolities—will only become more essential, strange, expressive, artistic, and powerful. So, you get the explanation why fashion in Metaverse is evolving and it’s the future of digital fashion in Metaverse.
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