When you say Fashion Week, you say New York, Milan or Paris, right? But there is a new kid in town† Metaverse Fashion Week took place March 24-27 in the Decentraland digital world. It is not the first event with fashion as the protagonist in the Metaverse, since Gucci & Mimi Wade, among others, have already organized events in the digital world, but this is the first that is inspired by a real Fashion Week. A complete program that includes various fashion shows from, for example, Dolce & Gabbana, digital sessions with Tommy Hilfiger, among others, and temporary stores. The Metaverse has now reached its peak, and on the one hand, it is enthusiastically received. But there are also questions about the usefulness and the ‘why’. Therefore, this Fashion Week can be seen as a test for the Metaverse. What are the reactions?
At a Fashion Week, so too at a Metaverse Fashion Week, it’s all about fashion. In real life, seamstresses and designers spend hundreds of hours on a garment. Digital productions, such as games or animated films, may require even more time. How was this Fashion Week? Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Selfridge all opened pop-up stores in the digital world where you could buy clothes and accessories like NFTs.
All the clothes that were shown are for sale as NFTs and can be used in Decentraland. How about an exclusive wearable from Forever21 or futuristic looks from Philipp Plein? Not much discount yet. Almost nothing has sold of various Philipp Plein garments, as shown on this product page.
There is also something to keep in mind about the clothing that visitors wear. For several Fashion Weeks, the looks of the visitors are at least as inspiring as the show. Although digital fashion has been sold as NFTs for some time and is also used by visitors to the Metaverse, this is not for everyone. A CNN reporter describes how, for the first time, she logs into Decentraland and picks out a handful of free clothing items and chooses a tiara as an accessory. I think that she is not very elegant and it is also difficult to distinguish herself from other visitors.
For many visitors, the digital shows are not as impressive as the real thing. The possibilities in Decentraland just don’t seem that advanced, unlike what designers can do with needle and thread, or what fashion NFT designers can do. According to many users, this is also due to the hardware that is needed to display everything on the screen as expected. But to see the world in the best quality, you need powerful gaming PCs.
Based on visitor feedback, reported US Vogue, the graphics were primitive compared to previous digital fashion events, such as the 2020 Fabric of Reality show or the 2021 Gucci event, and the experience was subpar due to technical glitches. . This is, of course, a huge obstacle to a digital experience. There were also reactions from visitors who felt that it didn’t have the atmosphere of a real event, because sometimes it was difficult to see how many people were present or that there were simply not many people. A Vogue reporter says that only 250 people signed up for the Dolce & Gabbana show, only 90 people attended Philipp Plein, and the Etro show had plenty of empty lines.
However, the participating companies were satisfied. In the world of fashion it is important to continue innovating and a digital event is now completely yours. This event was also a signal to companies and advisers in the field of Metaverse, blockchain and NFT that there is salvation in their technology. It will likely become an annual tradition as well, Sam Hamiliton, creative director of the Decentraland Foundation, told CNN.
Metaverse Fashion Week: The Final Verdict
For customers and consumers it may have taken some getting used to, or not what they expected. Even if the garments on display still don’t fly off the counter like hot cakes.
Judging by the reactions of professionals from the world of fashion and the world of technology, this Fashion Week was a success. For participating brands, it’s a way to showcase innovation and potentially reach a new audience. For technology companies and others active with, for example, NFTs and blockchain, it is a sign that the technology has value, contrary to what the general public currently thinks. Because not everyone is yet convinced of the usefulness of the Metaverse, these types of events are looked at with a magnifying glass. Not entirely fair, of course, but myself, like most people, have yet to see if the Metaverse will actually be of any practical use. Many events also seem ‘participating for participating’ to me, like Clubhouse or Second Life.
What do you think? Can’t wait to get in or are you looking at it too?
Do you want to know more? We have already written about the Metaverse, NFTs and fashion.