The Metaverse has become a popular topic recently with Facebook changing their name to Meta and the sudden rise of NFTs, but how does fashion come into the Metaverse? The fashion industry is known for being traditional however, over the last few years it has adopted technology in many ways such as; live streaming, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Now many well-known fashion brands are entering the metaverse in different ways and this is how:
Since Facebook announced its plans to enter the metaverse, the popular sports brand Nike has filed trademarks for 7 items related to the brand “for use online and in online virtual worlds,” according to the filing from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. These items include two variations of the Swoosh logo, the Jordan Jumpman, the Air Jordan wings logo, the brand names Nike and Jordan, and the phrase “Just Do It” for downloadable goods in computer programs featuring footwear, clothing, headwear, eyewear, bags, sports bags, backpacks, sports equipment, art, toys and accessories for online use.
However, this is not Nike’s first venture into the virtual world. In March 2019, Nike partnered with Roblox for an Air Max event that featured exclusive bundles including virtual versions of its Air Max 270, Air Max 720, and Air VaporMax trainers.
Last year, Balenciaga decided to showcase their Fall 2021 collection in the form of a video game called The Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow with five different zones to explore. Players travel through a futuristic world, starting at a Balenciaga store. Players then exit onto a city street, hop onto a bus which takes flight and warps into thin air. Players are then transported to another outdoor environment where a white rabbit leads them through the forest to a "secret rave".
Following this, in September of this year, Balenciaga collaborated with the game Fortnite creating an exclusive collection of outfits and items. The digital garments are presented as limited edition drops, raising the value of highly sought-out pieces. The collection features outfits, backpacks, gliders, wraps, emotes and sprays to kit out your character in Balenciaga.
Gucci is no stranger to the virtual world creating digital versions of its latest collection for the fashion game Drest Styling, athletic wear for Tennis Clash and virtual looks for online avatars with Genius. Gucci have also got plans to launch a platform where you can design virtual trainers and then put them on your feet using augmented reality. For their fall 2021 collection, Gucci partnered with the art auction house Christie’s to create an NFT video called Aria. The NFT was a huge success which sold for $25,000 and has made other fashion brands think about creating NFTs.
Burberry has always been ahead of the game in terms of technology in the fashion industry and have now worked with a game developer to launch its own NFTs. Partnering with Mythical Games, Burberry has created an NFT for their game ‘Blankos Block Party’. The item is a shark named Sharky B which can be purchased, upgraded and sold within the Blankos Block Party marketplace. This follows Burberry’s success with its own game, B Bounce that launched in 2019. The game is available on the Burberry website where you choose your character’s Burberry outfit and can win exclusive GIFs.
In 2019, Louis Vuitton launched a partnership with the popular multiplayer game ‘League of Legends, where Nicolas Ghesquière designed a skin for one of the in-game characters as well as a capsule collection. A special case for the in-game trophy was also created, giving a nod to its origins as a trunk master starting in 1886. To celebrate their 200-year anniversary, Louis Vuitton created a game called 200 Anecdotes featuring a collection of 30 NFTs; 10 of which were created with American digital artist Beeple, however, the items are not sellable or exchangeable and exist only in-game.
NFTs and digital fashion help address the need to reduce the physical impact that clothing production and waste have on the planet as this is also contributing to climate change. Many fashion brands also choose to work with companies using PoA (proof of authority) or PoS (proof of stake) system as it is much more sustainable than other payment methods.
Leslie Holden, co-founder of The Digital Fashion Group said “In the UK alone there are around 5000 fashion design graduates each year, with limited opportunities for employment. I see the metaverse as opening up new marketplaces, new opportunities and new occupations for creatives in fashion. We are desperately needing to ensure that there is less waste of fashion talent and the metaverse can supply the answer to a lack of opportunity in the traditional fashion industry.”
With technology continuously advancing along with plans for the Metaverse, digital fashion will become more apparent very soon. This will help to address problems such as global warming and unemployment. Let us know what you think about digital fashion below!
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