How Retail Got Real At Metaverse Fashion Week With AI, AR, Interoperability, Phygital Components
For Metaverse Fashion Week’s second iteration, Decentraland foundation partnered with additional metaverses Spatial and Over the Reality making for a broader experience and participating brands both harnessed emerging technologies and solidified …
For Metaverse Fashion Week’s second iteration, Decentraland foundation partnered with additional metaverses Spatial and Over the Reality making for a broader experience and participating brands both harnessed emerging technologies and solidified their Web3 strategies.
“Last year the brands were more showing up but now they know a lot more what they want,” said Mike Charalambous CEO of Threedium, in an interview. “There’s a coherent strategy behind it employing real narrative and brand values.” 3D engine Threediem enables the digitization of physical assets, helping brands from Dior to Fendi generate commercial opportunities. It worked with Coach on the brand’s gamified Metaverse Fashion Week experience in Decentraland centered around its hero Tabby bag.
Cross Metaverse Capability: Community vs. Commerce
Both adidas Originals and Tommy Hilfiger showcased the emerging cross platform capabilities of digital wearables. While the adidas play was community focused, that of Tommy Hilfiger was driven by commerce.
adidas hosted both a runway show and immersive space. As reported, holders of adidas’ Virtual Gear nonfungible token (NFT) collection could also wear their pieces in Decentraland via a ‘linked wearables’ feature but the brand also gifted 5000 Decentraland wearable editions of its Wallrunner jacket in an exclusive blood orange colorway to visitors. “It was a chance to learn does the community like this,” said VP of the adidas /// studio, Erika Wykes-Sneyd, in an interview on Friday, “getting feedback on the utility of having interoperability.”
Hilfiger’s Decentraland space was a sales hub which allowed users to buy physical items or directed them to Ready Player Me (RPM) where they could by digital wearables created with partner DRESSX that could then be worn by avatars across Decentraland, Roblox and RPM compatible worlds such as Spatial.
DRESSX X Tommy Hilfiger Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fashion Challenge
The hottest topic of the moment — not least for that AI generated picture of the Pope in a white Balenciaga puffer jacket going viral and Italy’s ban on ChatGPT which may or my not be related — AI also insinuated itself into Metaverse Fashion Week. Tommy Hilfiger and DRESSX (which also created the wearables for the Dundas Metaverse Fashion Week runway) launched an AI fashion challenge from the latter’s Discord channel whereby would-be AI designers were invited to create looks via written prompts and implement Hilfiger branding. Winners will have their creations produced as an NFT artwork with AR and Decentraland utilities.
Spatial Stepped Up Its Fashion Game With Hugo Boss
Hugo Boss created an immersive showroom on Metaverse Fashion Week cohost platform, Spatial, dubbing it a digital extension of the recent BOSS fashion show that took place in Miami. Visitors could purchase physical versions of the five looks displayed in the space via links to BOSS’ e-commerce. In an additional gamified element, users completing a quest received a digital version of a BOSS suit shown on the Miami runway that could be worn on Spatial and other platforms using Ready Player Me avators.
“We will leverage the opportunities this opens for our brand’s storytelling and see it as an additional sales channel within our future omnichannel strategy,” said HUGO BOSS CEO Daniel Grieder in a statement. Grieder is notably former CEO of Tommy Hilfiger. The activation was created in collaboration with Web3 agency Exclusible. Spatial which has the benefit of being a mobile optimized metaverse, has previously been considered a more corporate environment.
Augmented Reality: Merging Two Worlds
Augmented Reality (AR) metaverse platform Over The Reality participated in Metaverse Fashion Week with a site specific AR runway show at Milan’s Piazza del Duomo which people in the vicinity could access via their smartphones to see looks and accessories from Pinko, the Balmain x Spacerunners collaboration and Gucci Vault collaborator Pet Liger. “It was about bringing digital fashion into the real world and merging the physical and the virtual,” said Over founder Diego di Tommaso in an interview. “When you see something digital mixed with reality the effect is much stronger.”
Let’s Get Real
Launched over Metaverse Fashion Week, French e-commerce platform Monnier Paris teamed up with Decentraland and digital fashion brand Republiq, on a design competition for Web3 fashion creators. Finalists will have their submission turned into a real life bag via 3D printing technology and sold on Monnier Paris with an accompanying NFT.
According to Monnier Paris CEO Diaa Elyaacoubi-Bouriez, the aim is to spotlight digital talent and create a bridge with the real world. “We are convinced that they will massively shape the luxury fashion industry of the future,” she said during an interview, drawing parallels with with the impact of music on fashion exemplified by Louis Vuitton’s hire of Pharrell Williams. “We hope the prize will become the digital fashion equivalent of the LVMH Prize,” she quipped.
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the metaverse does not exist in silos. It’s inextricably bound to the real world with all the same components — from our obsession with tv reality shows to the red carpet moments of the MET Gala and the Oscars.
HBO Reality Show winner Winston Bartholomew of House of Barth closed Metaverse Fashion Week with a virtual runway show and created a digital capsule of his latest collection with the Decentraland team. The next season of Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star, a reality tv series broadcast on The British Broadcasting Corporation’s BBC3 channel and co-presented by make-up artist Val Garland, will play out in the metaverse.
Likewise Web3 entrepreneur Cathy Hackl showcased the digital version of Vivienne Tam’s physical Bored Ape Yacht Club inspired dress created with Brand New Vision (BNV), on Metaverse Fashion Week’s virtual red carpets.
Finally to Philipp Plein who unveiled his new Swiss-made timepiece category during Watches and Wonders in Geneva last week and hosted a concurrent activation in Decentraland, streaming the IRL event’s live performance by Bonnie Tyler at his Plein Plaza space in the virtual world. The first 100 participants received digitally wearable necklaces in the shape of his new watch.