The Top 5 Things We Enjoyed About Metaverse Fashion Week
Within the last week, news has been abuzz with spectators’ accounts about Decentraland’s inaugural Metaverse Fashion Week. In fact, it’s safe to say that no other digital fashion event has ever received so much industry attention, making it one for the books.
As the metaverse and NFTs are continuously becoming a regular part of our everyday vocabulary, we’re likely to see more events become digitised and show a capacity to bring both brands and global communities together. Both industry leaders and the general public have also now seen greater evidence of a bridging gap between digital and physical commerce.
We’ve put together a quick recap on the top 5 things we enjoyed about the very first Metaverse Fashion Week. We’ll also touch on how these highlights are setting a precursor for future events in fashion, gaming and the metaverse as a whole.
At least 70 brands were present at this year’s Metaverse Fashion Week, with names both big and small on the list. Larger brands were able to reach larger and more diverse audiences, while smaller brands were able to see increased exposure through the digital event.
Names including Dolce and Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, Philipp Plein, Forever 21, Hugo, Selfridges and Estée Lauder all used Decentraland’s reserved land plot to sell both physical and digital products and wearables. Other, lesser-known brands such as Auroboros and Etro also made significant headlines.
Has this changed the game of fashion? Absolutely. As brands continue to pay attention to technological shifts, it appears that many more are and will continue to invest in the metaverse. Not only did MVFW offer selling opportunities for brands — attendees were also able to access further brand exposure through virtual afterparties, interviews, runway shows and performances inside Decentraland.
In all, the expansiveness of the event allowed for multiple experiences and an excellent opportunity for revenue generation. In fact, according to one survey conducted by Virtue Worldwide, 94% of global respondents reported foreseeing digital fashion becoming mainstream — and one in three respondents say they already own a digital fashion item.
New ways to release clothing
Brands were able to explore new ways to sell their inventory and engage with consumers at Metaverse Fashion Week, allowing the concepts of both physical and digital wearables to converge. Through Boson Protocol’s technology, brands weren’t just able to advertise their physical pieces to consumers — they were also able to sell them as tokenised NFTs. This meant that singular assets purchased at the event combined both NFT wearables for Decentraland avatars and physical products that could be redeemed at actual storefronts.
According to Gigi Graziosi Casimiro, head of Metaverse Fashion Week: “MVFW is important because it connects many parts of a bigger engine in the fashion industry. This event allows brands to explore new possibilities for their creation and communication with customers. We are essentially building a stronger fashion community in Decentraland that allows people to express art beyond physical limitations.”
In all, Metaverse Fashion Week has set an important precedent for the future of fashion consumption. As avatars and digital personas become more integrated into our everyday online activity, so will the items that fill their inventory. The concept that NFTs can come packed with underlying utilities is also likely to change our understanding of purchasing, giving both physical and digital items an experience component as well.
Justin Banon, co-founder of Boson Protocol, has noted the importance of allowing digital and physical elements to be represented by NFTs. “What we are seeing is physical and digital items becoming ‘digiphysical’ — digital tied to physical,” he says. He refers to this new approach as “physical and digital experimental commerce.”
Easy access portal
Attendees of Metaverse Fashion Week had two options to enter the event — they could either connect their Ethereum wallets or simply enter as a guest. Luckily, both options were quite simple and streamlined. Unlike other metaverse-based events, the majority of attendees reported being able to enter Metaverse Fashion Week with ease.
As scepticism and cynicism still surround the concepts of blockchain technology and the metaverse — especially within the gaming community — an easy access portal was likely very crucial to MVFW’s success. And as far as we can tell, Decentraland nailed it. Given that these are early days, we’re of the opinion that not requiring every attendee to use a wallet or be crypto-savvy just yet was probably the right approach.
Overall ease of access
As the saying goes, the best things in life come for free. Unlike our vision of typical fashion weeks (which are usually only attended by the industry’s most elite figures), Metaverse Fashion Week was free for anyone across the world to access. That meant that no tickets, guest lists or money were required to attend. Also, given that it wasn’t held in a fixed, physical location, the event was also able to run around the clock — meaning that attendees from every time zone were able to jump in on the action and that the event was able to host a global community.
Not only did this approach increase the overall headcount — it was also notable in that it made fashion (namely higher-end fashion brands) more accessible to a wider user base.
Sam Hamilton, creative director at the Decentraland Foundation, spoke about the accessibility and global scale of the event: “The Chinese community is building stuff and the Japanese community, too. What you said about not being the same as traditional fashion weeks, we are building a brand new world here and we have the chance to make things better if we can. So it’s important to follow some things that happen in the traditional world, but also push the boundaries.”
Is it possible that taking elitism out of fashion events will change how brands are able and willing to monetise? It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Okay, sure — we had a bit of a penchant for the Mario-themed house we spotted while browsing the event. While it might have been a small easter egg, we’re hoping it’s a precursor that future events of a similar nature will come packed with more incentive structures and a more gamified approach.
Metaverse Fashion Week has been a formidable trailblazer for the fashion industry — but as things still stand, it’s still the gaming industry that is leading the way into the metaverse. Even Big Tech platforms are touting gaming as the leader in our shift towards Web3. Following their acquisition of game publisher Activision Blizzard, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been quoted in a recent statement: “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.”
With measurable real estate, an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency and spaces for multiplayer gaming, Decentraland has already solidified its efforts to make the metaverse platform a space for gamers in Web3. To further develop its approach to gameplay, the platform has also invested in a company called Decentral Games — where players can play to earn and even gain access to custom wearables.
Will we see a similar concept be replicated in the space’s next big digital event? Time will tell, but we think it’s very possible.
Check out our walkthrough
If you didn’t get the chance, be sure to check out our video walkthrough of Metaverse Fashion Week! Here, we covered more highlights and our favourite parts.