Looking for a new type of fashion week? Metaverse platform Decentraland announced that it will host four days of “catwalk shows and showcases, pop-up shops, after parties, and immersive experiences”.
The fashion show will be hosted inside the Decentraland platform, a virtual reality space that allows users to create and explore 3D environments. The fashion show will take place on March 24-27, 2022.
Decentraland Fashion Week will be Big
Decentraland Fashion Week is an event that aims to bring together designers, artists, and brands for a week-long fashion show. This event will also be used as a way for designers to learn about the Decentraland platform and its features so they can make better designs for future projects.
In an interview with Vogue Business, Sam Hamilton, the creative director at Decentraland Foundation, said, “We want to help the onboarding process and push creativity and show everyone what is possible. We do this to show the community and other brands, ‘Hey, Decentraland is a place for shopping, everyone is wearing cool clothes and brands can release on the platform.’ It’s a way of bringing more people to the platform and making it more compelling for users.”
The announcement comes just as brands are rushing into the metaverse (i.e., the digital universe in which users can engage by way of a combination of tech advancements, including VR, augmented reality, and video) to stake their claim in virtual territory and establish themselves in the digital world, in order to grab the attention of the increasingly sizable pool of consumers involved in blockchain-based goods.
Luxury Brands and the Metaverse
This is not the first time that luxury products and the metaverse have collided in recent months. To provide context for some of the numbers at play; the gaming platform Roblox is where designer brand Gucci launched its “Garden” experience in May 2021.
The experience was a launch concurrent with the unveiling of the House’s Gucci Garden Archetypes – an immersive multimedia experience in Florence, Italy.
According to the Roblox blog, “visitors will shed their avatars, becoming a neutral mannequin. Without gender or age, the mannequin symbolizes that we all begin our journeys through life as a blank canvas. Wandering through the different rooms, visitors’ mannequins absorb elements of the exhibition.”
Certainly something that couldn’t be accomplished solely as an in-person exhibition. Roblox boasted almost 50 million daily active users as of August 2021, up from 41 million in May. And no shortage of them fall under the prized Gen-Z demographic. The ‘97-2012 generation is the prime target audience–the golden goose on consumers.
To add merit to the ideas of a virtual fashion show, Epic Games’ blockbuster title Fortnite has a player base averaging 4 to 8 million per day. The luxury fashion house Balenciaga cashed in on the massive audience by creating a new, limited-edition Balenciaga x Fortnite backpack. The partnership with Fortnite’s publisher, Epic Games, is part of the developer’s “Fashion Week” initiative, in which it will be releasing a series of collaborations with high-profile brands and artists over the course of two weeks.
Balenciaga said that its partnership with Epic Games was inspired by how much fun players have when playing Fortnite. The company also noted that it wanted to introduce new audiences to the game.
“Fortnite has become one of the most popular games on earth,” said Nicolas Ghesquière, creative director at Balenciaga. “We are excited to work together with Epic Games on this project as we believe they share our passion for innovation.”
The use of various Web3 applications is being characterized as a $1 trillion opportunity for companies involved. That’s huge cash for brands such as Gucci,
Balenciaga, and Burberry, who are already generating millions of dollars in revenue from their high-margin, digital-only designs.
How Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week will Stand Out
Decentraland’s experience, however, has clear goals. Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) is a place where consumers can buy digital copies of the designs straight from the runway. No tickets are required, so it opens up a whole world of luxury to those not traditionally privy to the exclusivity of Fashion Week. To buy goods (of which some collections have a tangible, real-life twin), all users need is an Ethereum wallet.
Accessible, far-reaching luxury fashion. And all you need is an internet connection.
Organizers of the event have been exceptionally tight-lipped about the kinds of designers attending, but many have purchased plots, called land, inside of the virtual world. Each piece of land is for sale as an NFT to set up pop-up stores, experiences, and more.
In November of 2021, Decentraland set a record for metaverse land acquisition when a virtual plot of land was acquired by the Metaverse Group — an NFT-based metaverse real estate company, which is a subsidiary of Tokens.com — for USD 2.43 million. MVFW is set to take place on this record-breaking plot.
UNXD, the Polygon blockchain-hosted luxury marketplace is in the docket of collaborators. A brand on deck includes Hugo, formerly Hugo Boss.
The metaverse is a space where brands can offer sizable volumes of branded goods without the risks of market saturation. This will allow them to maintain a competitive edge and increase their profit margins–a perfect opportunity provided by Decentraland to expand and grow with the technology
and metaverse boom.
It feels like a bit of a gold rush–the blockchain and metaverse is the perfect solution for the NFT boom as it allows companies to create their own branded virtual worlds where consumers can purchase products with ease. It’s not just goods anymore–it’s about experiences, worlds, digital parties, and luxury.