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Fashion Re-invented In The Meta-World

Metaverse is the buzz word circulating in main stream media lately. It is within the meta-world that avatars exist in a simulated world.   Inside the spheres of augmented reality, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are bought, collected and exchanged.  They (NFTs) are codes that represent a digital item; it could be art, an instillation or music and they can be sold or exchanged in virtual reality.  The metaverse is an analogous world that transcends physical boundaries and logical comprehension. 

For those, not very well versed in the “meta-world,” the metaverse is simply the evolution of the web; which started as a medium through which information was stored and transmitted. Then it developed into a social platform where people connected, shared information and shopped. The current meta-phase is the space where people connect, share spaces and things in a completely simulated reality.  

A parallel existence to our physical reality.  It is both freaky and fascinating. 

The world of fashion has turned to the tech savvy for a reboot of sorts. And the digital platform has joined the trendy playing-field transforming the fashion industry as we know it.  The new platform establishes a creative and collaborative space where technology and style fuse. 

As fashion houses obsess with creativity, innovation and keeping in vogue; it is through digital outlets that designers are re-writing the industry’s rule book one look at a time. Identifying the meta-virtual space as a new realm to extend their inspirations and influences, they style the self-inspired avatars and are using digital fashionable trends to flaunt their personal styles and express individuality.  This fusion allows for creative expressions in ways that are not possible in our three-dimensional world.  For instance, an avatar can put on anything imaginable, a dress in flames or a Medusa like tiara.  As such the cybernetic world is attractive to avant-garde designers because it allows boundaries to be pushed unleashing limitless creativity and imagination in unconventional ways. Designs are created and sold within our virtual reality.  Physically immaterial, yet real. 

The fusion of technology and fashion came to be within the gaming community.  Action packed games like Fortnite created ‘skins’ worn by their online avatars.  Gamers have access to these skins through which they define their gaming persona.   They also use “V-Bucks” as a currency that is exclusively used in the game to buy their skins and cosmetic upgrades.  Balenciaga was one of the first luxury brands to collaborate with gaming platforms in the creation of Balenciaga skins.  They then even decided to partner with Sony and used the recurring PlayStation 5 logo on hoodies, caps and t-shirts, shortly after the release of the PS5 in November.  Balenciaga even went as far as creating a game, The Afterworld, for its Fall 2021 show. 

The power fashion house Gucci is also jumping on the metaverse bandwagon collaborating with Roblox creating the Gucci’s Garden Archetypes.  Also bringing to life a Gucci Tennis styled avatar in the game Tennis Clash. Luis Vuitton and Burberry are tempting younger consumers by entering the virtual spheres.  While Nike recently bought RTKF Studio, a design house that designs NFT collectable sneakers solely for digital closets. 

High end accessories are not left behind, digital artist Mason Rothchild recently created the “MetaBirkin.” An NFT inspired by Hermès’s iconic bagm a Jane Birkin namesake, to raise awareness toward fashion’s “fur-free” initiatives.  His NFT ‘IT’ bags are a high selling collectable that is causing a stir between the meta-sphere and Hermès Paris, since the luxury brand asserts that it did not authorize the creation of the digital Metabirkin NFT. 

With metaverse the fashion industry is infiltrating the virtual culture expanding creative visions way beyond imagination and design.  It is a world of limitless possibilities.  A space where a designers’ fantasy thrives and everyone can express themselves authentically in any shape or form. 

It is the future of fashion? That remains to be seen.