Digital fashion, NFT Bags, and Metaverse Fashion Shows: Understanding the Intangible Trend
Virtual fashion might seem to be a thing of the distant future, but with video game skins, digital fashion NFT tech, and new authenticity technologies, the future is ready to wear.
The metaverse could be a lot of things, a digital universe, a livable internet, a buzzword. Mostly, it is an idea. There is not one singular metaverse but instead many tech companies investing in their version of this virtual wonderland. Whether its digital fashion NFT tech or metaverse fashion shows, big brands are starting to invest.
The metaverse goes hand in hand with web 3.0, which no, is not the next Chrome update, but the next era of the internet based on blockchain technology, designed to move the power of the web into the hands of its users as opposed to its creators.
Depending on your perspective of what fashion is, you may be completely baffled as to why the industry has so quickly jumped onto the new tech bandwagon, and that’s understandable.
Clothing is inherently physical, or is it? In 2018, Scandinavian brand Carlings dropped the world’s first collection of digital fashion. NFTs of clothes have taken the luxury world by storm, with heavyweights such as Gucci and Karl Largerfeld selling out of their digital products instantly. However, NFTs are not the first instance of digital fashion, it’s been a large part of video game culture for over a decade now.
Estimated to be a $40b industry, video game skins were first monetised in 2012 with Team Fortress 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Now, skins and customisable characters are an essential part of the gaming experience whether you’re creating an Animal Crossing look-a-like or changing the deck backs in Solitaire.
Skins have also received the luxury fashion treatment. Gucci collaborated with Pokemon Go in 2021 to create a collection of in-game branded items and turn a number of their stores into sponsored and interactable PokeStops. As we see various iterations of the metaverse develop into both virtual and playable worlds, it’s almost guaranteed that fashion in the metaverse is going to be worth keeping a watchful eye on.
It is Mine…
The importance of ownership and authenticity in fashion can’t be understated. Why buy a brown bag when you can invest in a Hermes Birkin in etoupe? Even if you find an accurate Birkin replica, it’s not the same as the real thing. The same goes for NFT art. Yes, you can screenshot someone’s NFT, but that doesn’t mean you own it, no matter how identical the image is.
The blockchain tells a story of authenticity the same way as authenticity cards and labels do, recording ownership in an irrefutable way. Who’s to say that the blockchain won’t become a way of verifying your fashion purchase in the future?
..and I am It
Even though we see consistent collection releases and fashion shows throughout the year, a luxury brand is more likely to lose money than make anywhere near an enormous profit. Hundreds of hours of hand sewing, embroidery, and the finest materials on the planet don’t come cheap.
The real income comes from accessories.
Sunglasses, makeup, bags, and perfumes lay the foundations of a brand’s revenue because they are accessible. Outside of certain bags, these products never sell out, start at more affordable prices, and are always branded appropriately. What we see at fashion shows and on the bodies of models and celebrities are gatekept behind eye-watering prices, scarcity, and size exclusivity, if even sold in-store at all.
For the average consumer, we are never meant to wear these clothes, only aspire to them, and because we can’t wear them, we buy into the lifestyle through accessories. You might not be able to get a power suit from Chanel, but you can probably afford a lipstick to go with your Zara set and feel like a Chanel girl.
It’s no surprise that how we look online matters as our digital lives become more and more intertwined with our physical lives. Affordable virtual outfits could become people’s way of accessing that aspirational, luxury lifestyle.
Some still see our digital lives as not real, but when we work, socialise and entertain online, as much as we do in person, if not more, it’s unjustified to devalue our online experiences to such a degree. And when we value them equally, it suddenly makes complete sense to invest in your online appearance as much as you would your physical self.
If you aren’t well versed in fashion’s circular nature and trickle-down economics, you don’t need a degree when The Devil Wears Prada’s cerulean monologue exists.
Just as luxury brands started the cerulean trend, now that they’ve dove into the metaverse and NFTs, we can expect this new tech to go through mid-level luxury, affordable, and then fast fashion.
It’s not just ownership that has the potential to be democratised, fashion in the metaverse creates the opportunity for everyone to have that coveted front-row seat to a fashion show. Recently, Decentralands Metaverse Fashion Week played host to 108,000 unique guests across the entire event.
It’s easy to think of Digital fashion NFT tech and Metaverse Fashion Shows as playthings for the rich that have little to do with the majority of us. However, the bigger picture indicates that most of us are likely to have already invested in digital fashion in video games. As blockchain technology and NFTs keep developing and new applications are being found in the fashion industry, we’re probably going to invest again.
At Linguakey, we’re fans of metaverse technology
At Linguakey, we help brands establish their voice. With international experience in the metaverse industry, we know what it takes to elevate your identity. Get the content your business deserves and make your project stand out from the crowd.
For more information on how we can transform your content, visit our website today.