Makeover in metaverse? The fashion world is seeing a tectonic shift owing to digital advancements and impacting consumer choices

Makeover in metaverse? The fashion world is seeing a tectonic shift owing to digital advancements and impacting consumer choices

This could be a new normal for the generations to come. And it has benefits that we’ve never thought about

Anjali KochharUpdated: Saturday, June 03, 2023, 04:26 PM IST
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Can you imagine a world where you don’t need to try on clothes physically and you can have your virtual makeover ready before you make a purchase? This could be a new normal for the generations to come. And it has benefits that we’ve never thought about. But, before that, let us put some light on what’s already happening in the world of fashion and the metaverse.

Popular brands enter the game

A lot of popular brands have forayed into metaverse and acknowledged that entering the web3 space and metaverse is the most viable move for the industry both financially and non-financially.

The second edition of the Metaverse Fashion Week held in Milan in April this year saw participation from some of the biggest brands. There were booths from luxury brands like Coach, Balenciaga and sports brand Adidas.

In May 2021, the luxury brand Gucci collaborated with metaverse and gaming platform Roblox, launching a space called Gucci Garden. This digital experience was inspired by the label’s real-life Florence show, held in commemoration of Gucci’s 100th anniversary. Roblox users had the opportunity to explore the Garden’s immersive themed rooms, try on and purchase Gucci NFTs to be worn inside the game. Since then, the brand is active in the metaverse space.

Among other lux brands, Jimmy Choo, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis, Prada, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren have also entered the space. Sportswear giants like Nike have also joined the metaverse bandwagon in the last couple of years.

Experts call it a “natural progression” into the digital transformation going on in the fashion industry.

Amer Ahmad, Director of Technology at Blink Digital, said, “The fashion industry's move towards the metaverse is a natural progression in the ongoing digital transformation of the industry. One of the main advantages of the metaverse for the fashion industry is that it provides an immersive and interactive way for consumers to experience products.”

Blink Digital is an independent digital agency that has helped launch some of the most successful NFT projects and Metaverse activations like the KFC BuckETH, Amazon unboxing OnePlus on Decentraland, Yashoda Hospitals Group on Decentraland.

“Brands can create virtual showrooms, run fashion shows, and allow customers to try on digital clothes and accessories. This can help to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds and make the fashion experience more engaging and memorable,” he added.

Indian brand Papa Don't Preach by Shubhika became the first label in the country to display its clothing collection and accessories on a Metaverse platform as a part of the World Economic Forum's 'Cohesive and Sustainable World in the Digital Era' theme.

E-commerce 3.0

Industry experts believe that the metaverse will transform the fashion industry completely. We are going to see the third generation of e-commerce, which will permeate the global markets as more brands and industries understand the need to create virtual environments to further their customer footprint.

Lokesh Rao, co-founder and CEO of Trace Network Labs, says, “We call the next iteration of e-commerce E-commerce 3.0, where online shopping will be defined by direct customer interactions in the metaverse. The current e-commerce space is bound for disruption with users actually getting to ‘experience’ online shopping and not just browse infinitely to find their product in a 2D web construct.”

Piyush Gupta, CEO of tech startup VOSMOS, believes that the metaverse will undoubtedly become even more creative with the help of AI algorithms, allowing brands and designers to offer shoppers entirely new and exciting digital outfits.

“These digital outfits can be turned into physical outfits, complete with perfect fitting and a choice of designs. As technology advances, buyers on the metaverse can look forward to experiencing completely new fashion experiences that will be revolutionary and ‘futuristic’ in the true sense,” Gupta said.

As per stats released by investment bank Morgan Stanley, digital fashion could help the industry's sales to jump by $50 billion by 2030.

Well, not only through metaverse, people can buy virtual garments as non-fungible tokens, but also the overall idea is to push real-life sales of the brands. If a person is buying a virtual outfit by Gucci as they are short of cash at that particular moment, they might as well go on and buy the real outfit as time passes.

This is what the future of the collaboration will actually look like and how fashion will benefit financially from the metaverse.

Sustainable way ahead

Ramkumar Subramaniam, CEO and Co-Founder at decentralized legitimacy protocol for NFTs Guardianlink, believes that environmentally metaverse fashion could be more sustainable for two reasons.

First, carbon footprint of digital clothing is estimated to be lower than that of the physical product. Second, you also have the advantage of 3D rendering being used to make selections. This ensures that there is no overstock of clothing since products would be made to order, he adds.

Ahmad seconds this opinion. “As the metaverse continues to grow in popularity, we may also see more emphasis on ethical and sustainable fashion practices in the virtual world. Brands may use the metaverse as a platform to showcase their commitment to social and environmental responsibility,” he adds.

Perfect for GenZ

While this collaboration is perfect to engage GenZ, the question is are we ready yet? Maybe, we can see a world where virtual and physical fashion will coexist but how soon is tough to say.

“There are still some questions that need to be answered, such as how can brands effectively reach consumers in the metaverse and which groups have the most potential for engagement across multiple metaverses. The metaverse is still in its early stages and evolving rapidly, so it's an exciting time for luxury brands to get involved and carve out their place in this brave new world. With the potential for significant revenue streams and the desire to be seen as forward-thinking, it's safe to say that we can expect to see more and more luxury brands making their way into the metaverse in the near future,” concludes Gupta.

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