Fashion Has Entered the Metaverse—A Collision of Design and Technology

April 20, 2022

Since Facebook's rebranding to Meta and Google's Project Soli, fashion brands have not been far behind the rush to enter the metaverse. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Nike have all adopted virtual reality fashion approaches through the use of avatars, augmented reality elements, and exclusive NFTs geared towards fashion collectors. 

So, what does entering this dynamic new virtual reality mean for the fashion industry? First, let's look at where digital fashion is today. 

Love Limited Edition Fashion? Fashion NFTs Have Entered the Chat 

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are tokens stored on a blockchain with different degrees of uniqueness that can only have one owner. NFTs allow for transactions like trading artwork or real estate, but they also offer an opportunity for the fashion industry to provide customers with exclusive access to luxury items. Owning a fashion NFT is much like having a one-of-a-kind trading card—it's a fashion asset that doesn’t replace physical garments but acts as an addition to sought-after collections. 

Fashion brand NFTs have been entering the metaverse in the form of game partnerships. They allow gamers to dress their digital avatars in exclusive designs by luxury brands. For instance, Louis Vuitton, one of the most iconic brands in fashion, launched a collection of 30 non-fungible tokens to celebrate its 200th anniversary. The NFTs can only be collected inside its corresponding game, Anecdotes (200 of them in total), and unlike other iconic brands like Burberry, Louis Vuitton took the unconventional approach by having the items not sellable or exchangeable, and exist only in-game. 

Look out NY Fashion Week, Metaverse Fashion Week is Here to Stay 

With the attendance of a series of big-name brands, Metaverse Fashion Week was designed to gauge consumer interest in digital fashion. Organizers and participants alike have indicated the goal of the event is mainly experimentation, rather than that of brand awareness and sales. 

Both traditional and emerging brands participating in Metaverse Fashion Week face the challenge of learning to translate existing brand designs to the digital metaverse but one benefits of designing in the metaverse is that digital models can appear larger than life in every shape and size, allowing buyers and consumers a closer look at the design and fit, a view that would typically be impossible to see at an in-person fashion show. 

Implications of Fashion in the Metaverse 

In this new era, fashion brands entering the metaverse have implications to consider. One is to negotiate and document appropriate trademark licensing arrangements.  

Today's metaverse platforms allow for user-generated content (UGC), which means that users can create avatars wearing branded virtual products such as clothing, accessories, and jewelry. As a result, it can appear like the metaverse platform operator is selling branded digital fashion to users instead of the brand—in order to avoid potential trademark infringement, brands and metaverse operators must obtain the proper trademark licenses.

What's Next for Fashion in the Metaverse? 

The metaverse is an accessible space that everyone can explore and enjoy. Brands are already helping their loyal customers create a digital version of themselves to be able to express their style without external judgment—it takes just a few taps and clicks to become someone new.  

At JOOR, we believe the future for the fashion industry in the metaverse is bright and wrought with endless possibilities. No longer limited by tangible resources, the metaverse will allow innovative designs that can't be achieved with traditional techniques and fabric. A design that's not tangible in real-life can be a fashion garment you own in the metaverse, only limited by the imagination of brands and their designers. See you in the metaverse?

Learn more about how JOOR’s technology partnerships can help your brand navigate the evolving fashion industry. Request a demo today.

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