MFF 111 – Blackstage: Fashion Debuts at Metaverse Fashion Week

A moment from Dolce & Gabbana’s first fashion show at MVFW-Metaverse Fashion Week on Decentraland (courtesy Dolce & Gabbana)

The global fashion week agenda is set to revolutionize. And the traditional canonical succession, which sees New York opening the balls and London warming up the engines of the season in view of the two flagship meetings in Milan and Paris, seems ready to welcome a new meeting. Baptized at the beginning of 2022, but ready to conquer a place of choice in the decidedly near future, where real and digital are more and more destined to dialogue. Indeed, the metaverse planet is aiming to hit the fashion world more and more in the heart. And at a time when we are talking about Nft, acronym for Non-fungible token, literally a non-copyable work, that is, something unique that cannot be replaced by another, and metaverse, a coined term by neal stephenson in the book belonging to the cyberpunk culture Snowfall from 1992, and described as a kind of virtual reality, shared through the Internetwhere one is represented in three dimensions through his avatar, the first virtual fashion week could not be missed.

To baptize her Decentralizedblockchain-based decentralized platform Ethereum, in which users have the opportunity to trade through the purchase and sale of land and to engage in leisure activities. And among these hobbies the first appeared Mvfw-Metaverse Fashion Week, to identify four days of totally virtual fashion and style. Some of the first fashion houses have accepted the invitation Paco Rabanne, Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Tommy Hilfiger, Horses, Nicholas Kirkwood, Elie Saab And Imitation of Christ, who unveiled their digital/real collections by showing them on virtual catwalks. Alongside the ready-to-wear brands, a team of companies also active in the world of accessories, Coach for Axel Arigatofrom Esther Manas for Eytyslivened up the event’s agenda with a store designed specifically by digital fashion house Republiqe in collaboration with the retailer Monnier Paris.

Selfridges opened its first flagship. Last but not least, along with the usual hallmarks of international catwalks, the stars of the metaverse also enlivened the entire line-up: realities such as The manufacturer, Auroboros or DressX they have indeed unveiled their clothes, only virtual, thanks to digital parades and immersive experiences. But not only. Because the event followed the classic scheme of a fashion week, also offering users shopping experiences, thanks to the creation of a virtual space similar to the views of Avenue Montaigne in Paris, where brands had the ability to sell both physical and digital items. And not only. Showrooms dedicated to streetwear and emerging talents from the Chinese scene have been created; a cinema was inaugurated where films of Chanel And Lanvin. And between the expert talks and the art vernissages, there were also parties and post-show parties, like those of faith connectionfor example.

In a whirlwind without limits between the classic past and the technological future. “Fashion and tailoring are nothing new to the Metaverse. Decentraland has been among the most fashion-conscious players since 2020, when the first outfits dedicated to avatars were launched. Since that moment, our technicians and creatives have worked to push the limits and give our wearables an ever greater dimension. So much so that over the past year, avatar wearable sales have topped $1 million,” explained sam hamilton, creative director of the Decentraland foundation and soul of the first digital fashion week. “Offering purchasable and virtually wearable items is important to the evolution of digital fashion in the metaverse. The real strength of this fashion week lies not only in the predominance of digital experiences over physical experiences, but also in the easier accessibility of collections from luxury brands. Thanks to the metaverse, they will have the opportunity to interact with a much larger and increasingly global audience, without barriers”.

A look from the Philipp Plein show at MVFW (courtesy Philipp Plein)

But not only, because what the metaverse seems to offer is also the dream, that is to say the possibility for new generation designers and couturiers to imagine crazy and flamboyant creations, impossible on a daily basis, but real in the digital world. Where they take an increasingly important place, laying the foundations of virtual haute couture. “The power of the metaverse is the dream and with it the possibility of creating fantastic and incredible looks that no one could wear in real life or simply imagine for the world we live in,” he said in an interview. . Gospel Bousisfounder with Pierre Dundas of the brand Dundas. Who during MVFW showed a mix of recent collections and archival pieces, to offer the end user an immersive experience, after conquering the virtual world by creating the NFT of the dress worn at halftime of the super-bowl from Mary J. Bligecreated by Dundas himself.

Outside of Metaverse Fashion Week, what’s surprising is the fashion crush for this far from reality reality. But this time, it’s not just businessmen and CEOs who are fascinated by it, ready to read in the metaverse a new market to conquer in order to sustain and grow sales. What is striking is the passion shown by designers and couturiers, ready to seize all the infinite possibilities offered in terms of creativity and reflection. Dominique Dolce And Stefano Gabbana, among the first to seize the opportunities of the digital universe, on the occasion of their Dolce & Gabbana haute couture collection last September, they had indeed created a series of Nft linked to certain creations worn on the catwalks as part of of Venice and part of the Genesi collection. Sold at auction with the platform Unxd, grossed a record over $5.6 million. “For Dolce & Gabbana, fashion has always been a fusion of very distant worlds and new technologies have inspired their vision,” the fashion house said.

“When technology serves people and their dreams, it becomes an even more powerful tool.” And precisely in this last hypothesis, there seem to be the key words ready to decree the success of the metaverse: dream and community. I dream because virtual reality seems to offer creators, stylists and couturiers an Eldorado where they can best express their creativity without rules or constraints. And then community, because the world of digital enthusiasts is compact and destined to represent the future of fashionistas. In other words, the future consumers of fashion and luxury products. So much so that according to the latest prospective research by Morgan Stanley, over the next decade, the metaverse world could represent a more than $50 billion opportunity for luxury goods. The race, similar to that of the gold diggers of the Wild West, then began. But by traversing the digital labyrinth, certain projects have conquered the international podiums.

Structured and constructed in 360 degrees, they really seem to be telling the future of digital fashion, having listened to advice from Cathy Hackl, globally regarded as the godmother of the metaverse, who has always preached how the future will be “A new convergence of our physical and digital lives, which will see the internet liberated from screens, desks and walls to be all around us”. He was among the first to conquer the metaverse Balenciagawhich announced last September its collaboration with epic gamescreator of the worldwide success of fortnite, a game that has 400 million users and over $5 billion in revenue. The brand designed by Asked was among the first to launch a collection of four virtual outfits and some accessories available for Fortnite avatars, which can only be purchased through the gaming platform. breads (the house of Kering was among the first to create an ad hoc division to study the metaverse and assess future business opportunities, ed).

Hogan’s pop-up on Decentraland (courtesy Hogan)

Two realities like Ralph Lauren And Gucci they worked closely with Roblox to create two immersive digital experiences. The American brand worked to bring the winter escape Ralph Lauren to life, while the Italian reality led by Alessandro Michele he studied in tandem with Roblox the virtual space Gucci garden, inspired by the physical one in Florence. what if Burberrywith the project with Tencent Gamesrelated to the most famous chinese online game honor of kingsconquered the eastern world, Balmain And Olivier Rousteing together with Mattel And Barbie they recorded unprecedented numbers, baptizing a crossover project between real and digital. Alongside the clothing and accessories capsule, the house launched three Barbie avatars, each with a complete virtual wardrobe built with the same features as the real one. A project that has ignited Rousteing fans and fans obsessed with the world’s most famous doll. In reality, the Balmain-Rousteing couple aren’t new to the metaverse, having previously collaborated with the gaming company Altava on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the creative marriage between the brand and the designer.

Above all, being able to count on a designer like Rousteing, who has always been a fashion darling of the digital world, having an account Ig by stellar numbers. Alongside these five stars, an outsider with strong development potential and above all a native digital reality. Meet DressX, the virtual clothing e-commerce founded by Natalia Modenova And Daria Shapovalova, which started from a simple concept. “We firmly believe that the quantity of clothing produced today is far greater than what humanity needs. We are fascinated by the beauty and physical creation of a dress, but we believe there are ways to produce less, more sustainably. Right now, with DressX, we aim to develop another fashion idea. To say that clothes can also only exist in the digital universe”.

The result? A meta-wardrobe, comprised of digital-only clothing, NFT fashion items and augmented reality looks, which in just one year since the project’s launch has become the world’s largest digital fashion store aimed at Generation Z and millennials, who require a new shopping solution: digital, sustainable and affordable. Fashion therefore seems ready to write a new chapter in its history, starting a real revolution-evolution, between fashion week in the metaverse and a digital-only wardrobe. Which could perfectly be summed up in DressX’s founding mantra itself: don’t buy less, buy digital fashion. (All rights reserved)

The full number of MFF-Magazine for Fashion 111 it can be viewed here.

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