The technological industry is going mad over one single term – the metaverse. This term has created a buzz in the technological sphere and its effect has also reached the commoners. But, Why is it termed as a futuristic idea for the technological platforms? What has digital fashion got to do with the metaverse?
Well, the metaverse is the term that is a futuristic idea for all the technological platforms. The technological industries are so focused and determined towards this idea that even the most popular platforms on social media are changing or rebranding their company’s name to embrace this particular idea.
If you have heard the term metaverse, it is probably because of the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg who has changed his company’s name to Meta Platforms or simply Meta.
Although Mark Zuckerberg might be the most popular name in the metaverse world, he is neither the first nor the only one to be invested in this tech visionary. Metaverse is the way to mix virtual reality with other technological innovations and bring a virtual world to the users.
But that’s not it. So, if you are interested in knowing more about the metaverse world and understanding the future of digital fashion in this sphere, then this article is for you. Here, I will be discussing all the basics about metaverse and how, in this context, the digital fashion industry is becoming more global with the inclusion of both retail and luxury brands.
How Does the Metaverse work?
The concept of metaverse has been around for a few decades now, but it has recently gained a huge amount of popularity. With Facebook changing its name to Meta and an NFT-based company, Metaverse Group started selling a parcel of land on the virtual real estate platform known as Decentraland.
So, let us discuss what Metaverse is and how it works. Well, explaining what metaverse really is, is not that easy since there is no metaverse as of now.
The capitalist, Matthew Ball defines metaverse as, “the metaverse is a massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds which can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users with an individual sense of presence and with continuity of data, such as identity, history, entitlement, objects, communications, and payments”.
The concept of metaverse was first developed in the novel Snow Crash, which was a science-fiction written by Neal Stephenson. It is the concept that aims at bringing a virtual 3D world that would be connected to the user's every aspect of life. This idea of metaverse was once considered to be fiction, but now, it looks like a reality.
And how would it work? Well, experts believe that the metaverse would bring all the online platforms together, and connect all the similar websites by using only a single browser. And what would be your role in it? All the users in the Metaverse would have an avatar representing their character in the virtual world.
Imagine wearing an Oculus VR headset, sitting in your virtual office, finishing your work, and then relaxing while checking your crypto portfolio and playing blockchain games. In fact, some of the video games these days also portray the aspects of the virtual metaverse world. For example, Fortnight, Second Life, or even work socialization platforms like Gather.town, all try to depict what the metaverse world would look like to an extent.
Well, the metaverse still does not exist yet. But, when this term will come to reality, it will surely bring in a major difference not just in the gaming and investment industry, but also in the digital fashion industry.
The Advent of Digital Fashion
Digital fashion first came into existence in the year 2017 when Kat Taylor Cattytay uploaded a post on Instagram with the caption “Virtual Clothing” in it. Although this term did not get popular back then, people started talking about it in 2020. If the metaverse project becomes a success in the future, the digital fashion industry will witness a huge success as well.
Huge fashion brands like Adidas, Balenciaga, and Vetements were also interested in the concept of virtual clothing in the year 2017, but it totally blew up. Something you must remember is that the Covid-19 pandemic had not hit the world yet. In 2020, the pandemic situation forced people to sit back at their homes, and thus, with it, the need for digital clothing also arose.
Thus, fashion digitalization that was predicted a few years ago finally became an important part of the metaverse world.
Why the Metaverse is Fashion’s Next Goldmine?
None of us would like to wear the same dress every single day. We like to change our look very often even in this real world. Similarly, even in the virtual metaverse world, would you like your avatar to wear the same dress every single day?
Would it not get boring to see your avatar in the same look? That is exactly why, with Metaverse, even the digital fashion industry will witness a boom.
Here are a few reasons that will help you understand why the metaverse become the digital fashion industry's next goldmine –
It is undoubtedly a Huge Shift – For so long, we have been using the internet from a 2-dimensional point of view. But with Metaverse, that will change completely. The barrier of 2-dimension will be replaced by the 3-dimensional virtual world. This shift will definitely blur the line between the physical and the digital world.
Although we rarely do see the line right now, with the metaverse coming to reality, this line will start to disappear. The metaverse will surely bring in a huge generational shift.
The next generation will be used to this change, especially because of the Covid-19 pandemic, this generation has always been surrounded by the digital world. Starting from attending virtual schools to playing virtual games, the next generation has already experienced what the previous generation has not.
So, the next generation is completely ready for major digital or technological change. This generation will have no problem accepting digital fashion and making their avatars look the best version of themselves. They will care more about how fashionable they look virtually than in reality.
Fashion Moving from Streetwear to Screenwear – As I have already mentioned earlier, it is a complete generational shift. People have always expressed themselves through their fashion. It makes people different from one another. And with the metaverse, people will start spending a lot of time in virtual spaces.
Thus, it is very normal for people to make use of digital fashion and make their avatars look fashionable as well. Digital fashion will not just be a way of styling themselves, but also an important part of expressing their real self in the digital spaces. Thus, it will be a process of dematerialization of fashion.
What is The Best Part About Digital Fashion in Metaverse?
Well, it is undoubtedly the fact that the possibilities you find it is unlimited. For example, you must have played video games where you can dress up your avatar in some selected variety of clothes. Even in the metaverse work, you will have a better chance of making your avatar represent your personality with even better options.
There are already two such digital fashion markets like TheDecentralized.com and RTFKT Studios. But the real application of such brands can only be tested once wearing virtual reality glasses becomes a thing. This will help you understand what the person standing in front of you is wearing, from where they have bought it in the virtual world, the cost of it, and how you can get something identical or something better than that.
This would be something like using Instagram or Snapchat filters where you can wear different ornaments and see how you are looking. In the digital fashion world, you can virtually see yourself wearing jackets or shoes that are on fire. Doesn’t that sound interesting?
Metaverse Fashion: A Step Towards Better Future
How is digital fashion leading us towards a better future? Well, with the dematerialization of fashion, the power of fashion will become decentralized. Everything will be accessible to everyone on a global level. Right now, most people cannot reach out to designers living in some other part of the world, but with fashion becoming digital, that will no more be an issue.
Not just that, even the local artisans, whose work could never reach a global level due to various geographical issues, could reach out to a huge audience in the virtual world. Metaverse fashion is thus, not just going to be great for the famous designers, but also the local unpopular ones.
Why would anybody want to invest in buying a dress in the real world that only a group of people can see, when they can invest a little less in the virtual world and buy a dress that people all over the world can see. Thus, it is understandable that with metaverse coming into the picture, people are going to invest their money and buy things in the virtual world.
Metaverse in The Current Fashion Industry
In the past two years, the fashion industry has seen a huge loss. Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have made people stay at home and get their work done from home itself.
In such a situation, where people can work by wearing their pajamas and attend virtual meetings by wearing whatever farms they have in their wardrobe, why would they care to purchase clothes? Even if they purchase, it would only be for some occasion.
Thus, the fashion industry has to go digital. Virtual fashion shows and exhibitions have become a thing now. This has made people realize that technology is the future for tomorrow, it is something that will only grow in the future.
An American multinational investment bank and financial services company, Morgan Stanley, predicts that metaverse could bring in approximately $50 billion opportunities for high-end luxury fashion brands.
If fashion brands want to survive in the future, they would have to start their digital fashion journey. Recent developments prove that the virtual metaverse world is quite a realizable concept.