The rise of the metaverse and Web 3.0 will disrupt several industries, including the multi-billion dollar global fashion industry. As the world moves from physical to digital, traditional fashion design can be transformed into virtual wearables that can be utilized in both augmented reality (AR) and real life.
Megan Kaspar, managing director of Magnetic Capital and a member of Red DAO – a decentralized autonomous organization focused on fashion – told us that she believes digital fashion non-fakeable tokens, or NFTs, will be the largest NFT category for Web 3.0.
“Digital fashion NFTs include clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc., that can be worn within a virtual or gaming ecosystem. These digital wearables are currently used for speculative investment and collecting, dressing avatars in decentralized games, wearing them in augmented reality environments, and being superimposed on photos and videos.”
While Kaspar knows that digital wearables are being utilized today in decentralized gaming environments – such as the NFT utilized in Decentraland – she explains that wearable fashions will become more interactive in the next two years. For example, Kaspar recently showed how virtual NFT gains and other accessories can be worn during video interviews.
Wearable revenue models enter the fashion industry
Kaspar further mentioned that the “wearable revenue” model will flourish in the AR environment, noting that designers, brands and retailers will create clothes that adapt to the digital wardrobe. In order to build long-term relationships with consumers, designers will pay consumers to wear their virtual items, Kaspar noted.
“Brands will compensate customers for wearing them by giving them access to exclusive items or airdropping fashion items into their virtual wallets or paying them in the form of interchangeable tokens.”
According to Kaspar, Italian luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana will soon launch “D&G Family,” a community-based NFT airdrop that takes place on a marketplace curated by UNXD.” This will give consumers access to exclusive physical clothing that is only available through the drop,” she said.Dolce & Gabbana recently launched their “Collezione Genesi” NFT collection to highlight the power of metaspace wearables.
While Kaspar expects UNXD to be the first luxury platform to offer wearable revenue capabilities, other NFT ecosystems have already begun to adopt the concept. For example, Davaproject – an NFT project from startup studio Unopnd – is currently building an avatar NFT system that reflects the various combinations of variations on the blockchain network. A recent announcement stated that the project will initially consist of 10,000 avatar NFTs called “Dava” that will be cast as 30,000 wearables.Davaproject will set the rarity of each wearable to display a different ranking on the user dashboard. Owners will then receive benefits such as community event invites, NFT airdrops, giveaways and new item drops by wearing these items.
Given the rise of virtual wearables, Vogue Singapore’s editor-in-chief Norman Tan tells us he’s bullish on digital fashion.Tan recently published the September issue of Vogue Singapore, showcasing the theme “A New Beginning”. The September issue features a unique printed cover in the form of a QR code that acts as an entry point for two digital-only NFT covers.Tan said.
“Fashion and innovation have always been at the heart of what we do at Vogue Singapore. With the global September issue theme ‘New Beginnings’, we have taken a bold step to venture into the meta-universe – a destination for a new class of digital artists and designers.”
Not only is digital fashion set to disrupt the metaverse, Tan also says that virtual wearables will help alleviate sustainability issues by introducing a post-waste economy. According to Caspar, 40 percent of Western wardrobes are unworn, noting that digital clothing can be an eco-friendly alternative to physical items.
Furthermore, virtual fashion shows have proven to be more sustainable and accessible. For example, NFT Runway – a company that democratizes fashion by enabling brands to be deployed in a sustainable way – is hosting a digital fashion show during “San Francisco Fashion Community Week,” December 3-5. The interactive fashion show will be streamed live in the metaverse and will use patented 3DREALTM technology to recreate NFT versions of physical items. This will allow audience participants to virtually “jump on” the runway and view each item while reversing their avatars to view the garments from any angle.
Oh Tepmongkol, COO of Ohzone – the company behind the Ohzone 3DREALTM interactive technology – told us that it makes sense for both virtual and real-world fashion shows to incorporate NFT:.
“They are tokens that act as certificates of authenticity, and they can bring a lot of additional utility to any clothing item. This could mean unlocking a digital version of the item or gaining special access to the designer’s online community. In addition, NFTs are easy to include because they can be incorporated into any piece of clothing via a small QR code.”
Tepmongkol added that NFT wearables can also be easily donated to charity. For example, NFT Runway’s digital fashion show will consist of an auction that will benefit a number of non-profit organizations through the proceeds of the sales. According to Tepmongkol, a smart contract on the blockchain allows NFT Runway to set up “NFT donations.” “This is where charities can be set up to receive a portion of the sale proceeds in perpetuity through a smart contract”, she said.
The future of digital wearables
While the concept of interactive digital fashion is still on the rise, Kaspar believes that the wearable revenue model will eventually be bigger than the play-to-earn model. After the release of Axie Infinity, play-to-earn has become the most popular search term in the blockchain ecosystem.
However, Kaspar explained that the wear-to-earn concept will undoubtedly appeal more to the mainstream demographic – especially women – than just gamers. For example, Kaspar mentioned that digital wallets will soon be like virtual wardrobes, a feature that will attract many new users to the blockchain space.” Many companies are working to create interoperable digital wardrobes that you can move NFTs in and out of.”
While innovative, Tan notes that online games have helped inspire the rise of digital fashion: the
“Fortnite and other such MMOs have created a whole new economy, and brands like Balenciaga see the opportunity to reach these users in a digitally native way. Coupled with the advent of COVID-19, it’s seeing more people go online and explore how best to interact and express themselves in the digital realm.” Sebastien Borget, co-founder and COO of The Sandbox – a decentralized gaming virtual world using NFTs – further told us that the difference between play-to-earn wearables and wear-to-earn fashionable NFTs is that one is for players and the other is for socializers. He added that The Sandbox will soon be incorporating wearable NFTs into many of its games at.
“Having wearables reward users based on engagement is an interesting model that really fits the avatar NFT identity – the longer you use the avatar, the more players can earn.”
Tepmongkol further shared that NFT Runway is looking to connect the virtual fashion industry with decentralized gaming.” Some Web 3.0 meta universes, like Decentraland, require some additional formatting and registration to work on their platform; we’re working on that as part of our long-term roadmap.”