How was the first Fashion Week in the Metaverse?
So this is happening, the very first Metaverse fashion week took place between 24th-27th March and it has opened the doors to what it seems to be the new era for digital world and ecommerce.
Obviously, we’re still at a very early stage of what the Metaverse could mean for businesses long term, but, this fashion week has taught us that we all need to get ready for the new online revolution if we want to step into the future and position leader brands.
Decentraland’s first Metaverse fashion week, further than the virtual shows and parties, offered the space for a prominent exposure for luxury brands and retail pop-up stores, such as Selfridges, ETRO, Tommy Hilfiger or Dolce and Gabbana.
We could say that we have witnessed the birth of a new emerging space where fashion giants and new firms meet and compete to attract your attention in the most innovative way.
What’s Decentraland (DCL)?
Decentraland is a 3D virtual world platform ruled by MANA cryptocurrency, which uses the Ethereum blockchain, where users aim to buy pieces of virtual land as NFTs.
It has been in development since 2015 and it started to sell the virtual parcels from 2017 when it officially launched.
Decentraland has experienced a big push in popularity since 2021 and early 2022 when big brands such as Adidas or Samsung appeared in Decentraland or even bought “lands” in it.
The fashion week hosted in Decentraland witnessed the most exciting willingness from big labels to be part of this new world which just has started.
Everything indicates that we are entering the new commercial era of the digital world.
Some of the brands that were part of it.
Dolce and Gabbana bet on a virtual catwalk with avatars wearing the new collection with pieces in 3D, and which was stitched together with a real catwalk where real models were ready to bring to real life the designs on the avatars. When the virtual model reached the real catwalk on the screen, they disappeared at the same time that real models showed up.
Tommy Hilfiger showed a digitised version of the spring collection 2022 in a luxury shopping area of the event. The idea was to attract a new audience who could get to know the brand style and to connect with fans in the Metaverse. The brand is working hard to offer brand experiences within virtual spaces. Since they created the Tommy Island in animal crossing, the company has invested time and efforts to gain leadership in the virtual world.
Moreover, there was a virtual movie theatre where we could watch films and industry fashion talks; as was the case of Chanel and House of Lavain.
Another exciting project that was present during the event was the Selfridges’s recent NFT project with Paco Rabanne and artist Victor Vasarely, which includes a metaverse-style presentation replete with digital wearables and NFTs.
NFTs were some of the big protagonists during the event, since you had the opportunity to access a 3D-printed version of the dress that includes the digital atelier process of customisation and fitting the dress to the buyer's body by buying one of them.
Other brands such as ETRO or Estee lauder didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be part of this very first Metaverse experience.
HITS of the first Metaverse Fashion Week.
The Metaverse enabled to offer within Decentraland a very joyful and fun first virtual fashion week experience that it wouldn’t have been possible physically. Compared to Paris or Milan fashion weeks, for the very first time people could enjoy a fashion event regardless of where in the world you were.
Moreover, we could discover that recreating the real life in the Metaverse (as many people thought) was not the purpose of the event. The Metaverse Fashion week aimed to push boundaries for the fashion industry and go as crazy and creative as possible with the design, staging, show spectacles and the actual experience.
NFTs wise, we can say that the Metaverse Fashion week was a complete success. A quite good amount of NFTs and digital wearables were sold for people to dress both their avatars and themselves, since they had the functionality to bring you closer to exclusive products, also from real life.
It has been quite a discovery to witness the extent to which consumers are willing to invest in digital wearables and NFTs.
Finally, the event successfully attracted and boosted visitor’s traffic, it was the first approach to Metaverse for many of the visitors who didn’t want to miss this fashion event. The participation of many strong leader brands has validated the Metaverse as a new venue for reaching consumers and advertising.
The Improvements that we expect and need.
The main problem that we found is to verify that the technological tools that a common citizen has today are not effective enough to appreciate the quality that the Metaverse can reach and potentially will have. The low-level graphics, compared to other digital fashion items, was an evident issue that will need to be addressed for future fashion events in the Metaverse.
Also, the organisers of the event agreed that everyday computers and wifi are not powerful enough to guarantee high-fidelity experiences.
Moreover, the digital fashion items, specifically, are limited to a low number of polygons, meaning that the textures and details of clothing, especially individual items, is severely limited.
Finally, the Decentraland that we have known so far is not a naturally sociable place and this results in a limitation to establish the number of people that can attend the event.
We still don’t know how the Metaverse can potentially evolve and we’re just witnessing its baby steps so everything could be possible in the future.
It’s been inspiring to see so many leader brands willing to participate in the event and already working on expanding their marketing and consumer approach.
In conclusion, we can say that the Metaverse Fashion Week was the right event for the rest of the world to take more seriously the future that the digital market will face and start to picture how the transition from what we know to what it will become is going to be.