Featured image: Love Is Love by 3D virtual model creator behind Vogue’s first NFT cover Shavonne Wong
It’s spring, and fashion week has slowly crept its way across the globe. The bi-yearly events mean an enormous amount of time, energy and money as the circuses unfold and press and models are flown across continents – it can be no surprise that gradually, examples are popping up that are embracing a way that delivers the same visual spectacle untethered by physical restraints. Enter: digital fashion.
A recent example is designer Jonathan Simkhai opting for a virtual runway on the online platform Second Life. But dig a little further and see Balenciaga’s “deep fake of a fashion show,” or Gucci’s $17.99 sneakers. However, these examples coming from established fashion brands merely hint at a whole world that is well underway with creating a fashion revolution. Let us talk you through some of the powerhouses creating and spotlighting the future of fashion.
This Outfit Does Not Exist
Starting out with a platform that will let you endlessly browse through options, the blog This Outfit Does Not Exist has been documenting and highlighting stand-out pieces created by digital artists. Run by Dani Loftus, she dedicates each month to a particular topic; such as marketing in the metaverse or perceptions of the self through role-play. If you are more of a visual learner, check out her Instagram where she showcases digital fashion. The account is a perfect gateway into a rabbit hole, perhaps discovering your new favourite digital couturier along the way.
Another platform that is working to empower and move towards a less wasteful existence for the fashion world is The Fabricant. Describing itself as a “digital fashion house” the organisation holds a myriad of artists and developers creating anything from ethereal to more utility-inspired styles. It’s mission is to create “a more equitable, creative and sustainable fashion industry”, as is also exemplified by its launching of The Fabricant Studio; a platform on which anyone is able to co-design with the Fabricant team to create their dream Metaverse outfit, and then mint it on the platform’s own NFT marketplace.
Found an item you love, or want to try on fits, but unsure how to go about acquiring any digital fashion? It’s worth checking out DRESSX. The platform and marketplace house countless digital couturiers, and the app lets you upload your own photos and try on anything before purchasing. Once you’ve picked out and bought your favourite piece you can wear it in games, live streams, or perhaps even your Monday morning work video call?
An initiative on the platform that particularly stands out is the recent Support Ukraine Collection. Launched to contribute towards the defense and ongoing emergency aid for the people of Ukraine, the collection features a range of garments and accessories in the country’s national colors. Funds will be dispersed between the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the 3D-designers who lost their homes, computers and jobs, and a number of charitable funds.
The Immersive Kind
While discovering the power houses, keep an eye on the projects coming from the digital arts platform The Immersive Kind. As a creative studio and digital community, it focuses specifically on many projects involving XR and virtual environments. The team has a keen interest in exploring how fashion exists as a nexus for creativity, practicality and expression in the digital realm. Take, for instance, its collaboration with Mission Statement Magazine, which gave people the opportunity to try on digital couture in a fully immersive experience.
Last but not least, this recently acquired by Nike brand has been making moves in the Web 3 space for over a year now. Not just any moves – but cutting-edge phygital (physical meets digital) collabs with leading artists like Fewocious for stylized sneakers or Takashi Murakami for avatars of the future collection Clone X. In an age where the audience is in a constant need of “more”, RTFKT has been spoiling its consumers across fashion and lifestyle with an abundance of tailored experiences and surprises.