Metaverse Fashion Week Was a Promising Prototype For the Future. Here’s Why.


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After a month of constant hype on social media, digital outlets, and the incarnations of Internet 2.0 and 3.0, the first Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) debuted on March 24th. some of the most recognized luxury brands in the world were being seen as a kind of Web3 democratization of global high fashion.

Instead of the shows being highly exclusive events available only to the wealthiest, well-connected or well-known industry luminaries, anyone with a Decentraland avatar could log in and stand in front of the catwalks, examine the Luxury Fashion District and attend. lavish later parties.

But despite all the anticipation surrounding the first MVFW, the event itself was a nascent product without a definitive proof of concept. And like almost everything that faltered in his childhood, he inspired many more questions than answers. How popular was it really? How profitable would it be for fashion brands? What was the relationship between a brand’s metavers footprint and real-world etiquette and their physical clothing lines? Uncertainty abounded.

This is my best attempt to answer some of these questions and remove some of that uncertainty.

1. MVFW 2022 was the beta year

Decentraland saw 108,000 unique visitors during the four days that spanned MVFW, a figure that does not exclusively represent the avatars participating in the fashion show. By comparison, the two annual iterations of New York Fashion Week are attended by about 230,000 people together. But comparing the inaugural MVFW with its real-life counterparts is a carefree madness; while New York Fashion Week has existed in some way since 1943, the Decentraland version has just been released this year. In other words, it is almost impossible to consider the event as a success or a failure based on this statistic.

Related: Metaverse Fashion Week: The Future of Fashion Shows

According to countless accounts, the procedure had many flaws. People complained about graphics with errors, slow processing speeds, and recurring browser errors. The main events of the week, the track shows, were notable for the relatively low level of attendees and the chaotic and unregulated ways of interacting with their surroundings (some journalists reported seeing the avatars of the audience crashing- on the tracks in an unsophisticated show). There was, all in all, a kind of confusion in the user experience (UX) that spoke of an event and a world still far from its maximum and fully matured form.

However, instead of focusing too much on all the superficial imperfections of MVFW, people would be much better served if they considered it a product in its most rudimentary form: a promising prototype. Decentraland will continue to upgrade its servers and introduce updated versions of its blockchain-based software, and the technology will finally be able to adapt perfectly to many more avatars in its virtual reality world. And as subsequent fashion weeks are more carefully planned and comprehensively carried out, with the kind of social norms, etiquette, and protocols learned that reflect the physical world, there is no reason to doubt their ability to stay.

2. The luxury fashion district is ready for a breakthrough

MVFW made its Web3 debut for some of the world’s most iconic luxury brands, such as Selfridges, Dolce & Gabbana, Hogan and Chufy. These brands officially planted their flags on Decentraland’s metaversal platform by opening their digital stores in the Luxury Fashion District, located in Decentraland’s largest Genesis City fashion district. And while reviews of many of the week’s themed events were wide-ranging, the grand openings of these new “flagship” stores served as an impressive demonstration of the fashion industry’s possibilities in the metavers.

Related: Metaverse Wars: What’s the Future of Social Media?

High-fashion houses occupied buildings with elegant, often futuristic architecture: the black and purple structure of Selfridges, hypermodern and multi-storey, looked like two Zeppelin planes stacked on top of each other, meticulous attention to detail and interiors. which captured his characteristic style and equipment with brilliance (the Dundas store featured 3D renderings of the brand’s inimitable diamond-necked panthers). Given the speed with which all of this has come together and presumably how new to the metavers are most of these brands and their leadership, it was an impressive show.

Perhaps most of all, he talked about how luxury fashion companies will be able to recreate their coveted in-store experiences on Web3 in a way that was simply not possible in the flat, transactional mechanics of Web2.

3. Fashion in the metavers must evolve and will evolve

Despite all the striking aesthetics and pomp and circumstance of MVFW, the relationship of the event with the actual products of the companies remains casual and largely unresolved. Some brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger, offered clicks on their major e-commerce websites. Others, such as Dundas, gave visitors to the store the opportunity to buy NFT clothing: clothing and accessories to bring their avatars to Decentraland. A third hybrid approach allowed individuals to purchase NFTs that could be exchanged for exclusive physical clothing. There was no single dominant model on how to address the financial dimension of fashion week, and many brands probably interpreted it as little more than a marketing opportunity.

Related: Luxury brands are trying to get involved in metavers

One of the seemingly inescapable questions I ask myself now is whether the fashion industry, hitherto an enthusiastic and aggressive early adopter of metavers, will use Web3 as a simple, obscure platform for Web2 capitalism, or if it has anything. grander and with a more avant-garde mind.

As traffic on foot from traditional brick-and-mortar stores continues to decline, even in sparse shopping districts such as Fifth Avenue, some consumers will still want the immersive, haute couture experience of entering meticulously cured environments. from designer stores and looking for the perfect accessory, garment or beauty item. The possibilities of Decentraland and the metavers to regain that sense of material charm and satisfy a seemingly timeless longing are virtually limitless. Only time will tell if luxury brands are making the most of them.



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