Digital fashion is making waves online and in the real world. Using augmented and virtual reality technologies, customers can “wear” digital clothing and accessories just like their traditional, tactile counterparts.
However, unlike their traditional counterparts, these digital costumes break the rules and restrictions of the real world, allowing people to have more ways to express themselves and break boundaries. From traditional to more innovative, digital platforms, the Business of Fashion report shows that 50% of US consumers are interested in acquiring digital assets, be it NFTs, in-game items, digital avatars or digital fashion.
The rise of digital fashion
The pandemic has led to a shift to digital. While consumers are experimenting with digital skins, other in-game accessories, and social media filters, consumer expectations and behavior are constantly changing. Digital fashion provides a way for consumers to use digital wearables for their avatars or to superimpose these digital wearables on their real-life photos.
Digital fashion aims to address issues related to today’s fashion industry such as sustainability, production and supply chains, inclusion, accessibility, production costs and real-world physical limitations.
It greatly reduces waste in the design and production process. Additionally, digital fashion is more inclusive and many pieces are classified as genderless and sizeless.
Digital fashion platforms for AR and VR
The pandemic has inspired relatively new ways for consumers to experience and learn more about retail products. Augmented reality applications, for example, allow consumers to try on clothes, makeup and accessories using their smartphones.
In fashion, AR and VR technologies have made fashion shows possible even during the pandemic. Indie brands and startups aren’t the only ones embracing AR and VR in fashion. Established designer brands like Louis Vuitton have dived into AR technology, launching AR products or trying to establish their presence in the metaverse.
watch out: Fashion is a perfect fit for augmented reality.
Burberry released its own AR app, allowing users to customize Burberry items using design elements I solved it round up.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, new concepts and developments such as NFTs and the metaverse are becoming part of everyday conversations. Web3 fashion labels and platforms are emerging, using modern technology to create custom, never-before-seen clothing.
With these platforms, customers can buy a digital piece and “wear it”. This usually results in the customer sending the photo to the fashion label, so the latter can digitally alter it to fit the size and shape of the garment.
One of the pioneers of digital fashion is DressX, a “multi-brand retailer” focused on selling digital fashion pieces, becoming a more sustainable counterpart to physical fashion.
Another platform, The Fabricant, allows users to create or customize their own fashion NFTs that can be used in the Metaverse. In the year Founded in 2018, the factory is the world’s first digital-only fashion house and has since collaborated with World Women and RTFKT to create digital clothing.
Bringing digital fashion to the forefront
Tribute Brand, a Croatian-based female-led digital fashion house, has raised $4.5 million in its seed funding round, backed by a roster of VCs, DAOs and angel investors in the Web3, crypto and NFT industries. The seed funding round was led by popular early-stage consumer VC fund Collab+Money, along with other investors including Alice Lloyd George, Flamingo DAO, Neon DAO and Kanosei Ventures.
With this funding, Tribute Brand aims to build proprietary tools and an interoperable platform that will enable it to leverage its digital assets and deliver more valuable experiences to consumers. The platform and tools will launch later this year alongside a new collection drop.
The touchless and cyber fashion brand has many collaborations with fashion heavyweights under its belt. He collaborated with Jean-Paul Gaultier on the jumpsuits worn by drag icon Simone and South Korean musician CL and Carolina Herrera in a digital version of the spring 2022 gown.
Ultimately, Tribute wants the brand to eliminate the “digital” in digital fashion and instead be known for what digital fashion is, which is fashion in the context of a new digital dimension.
Rethinking “digital” in digital fashion
Digital fashion allows people to experiment with clothes and accessories without worrying about the limitations of the real, physical world. It allows them to experiment with out-of-this-world designs and materials that are impossible in the real world, such as floating gowns or animated patterns.
Digital fashion platforms are changing the way we approach fashion. Beyond being a way for creativity and self-expression, these platforms encourage consumers to choose more sustainable options, making fashion more accessible and inclusive.