“Get ready to dress your avatar to the nines and take a front-row seat at the catwalk—everyone’s a VIP in the metaverse!”
“I see people being much more outrageous in the metaverse”, said Sam Hamilton, Creative Director of Decentraland, over a phone interview with CoinDesk. “People will see a really great use case for NFTs.”
And they did, reports say. Even Vogue Magazine did a write-up of the best streetwear looks in MVFW. Top brands such as Estee Lauder, Phillipp Plein, Dolce&Gabbana, and Etro showed off their wares.
Metaverse Fashion Week – the Backdrop
Today, users can enter Decentraland with just an Ethereum wallet and a Wifi connection. Decentraland provides coordinates for each of the events so avatars can navigate the massive expanse of digital land.
Since NFTs boomed in popularity last year, the world’s top fashion brands have been looking for ways to integrate them into their digital fashion offerings.
While some have been working on integrating digital fashion for years, for others, Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) came too soon. Many feel that the technology isn’t there yet, and that online offerings can’t keep up with the level of detail needed for luxurious fabrics and textures.
The Experience was Weaker than Expected
And yet during Metaverse Fashion Week, the polygonal nature of the Decentraland platform posed issues for some brands. According to some users, the graphics inside the Decentraland platform couldn’t hold a candle to some of the other platforms. The graphics have been oftentimes described as ‘rudimentary’. Some attendees even compared the experience to other events and said it was much weaker than the Fabric of Reality show in 2020 or Gucci’s Roblox garden in 2021.
Since the turnout was difficult to predict, there were glitches that prevented people from experiencing some of the events.
Via Vogue Business:
“Someone always has to be first, and by going first you don’t always get it right,” says Max Vedel, co-founder and creative director at Swipe Back, a metaverse creative agency that has worked with Gucci, Nike, and Swarovski. “That shouldn’t be seen as a negative. [MVFW] is the first foray for a lot of big names into the metaverse and while they didn’t always get it right, there were some pretty amazing shows on display.”
And Yet the World’s Top Brands Still Showed Up
Over 70 brands came together to experience the very first metaverse Fashion Week, including Dolce&Gabbana, Etro, Elie Saab, Imitation of Christ, DUNDAS, Nicholas Kirkwood in collaboration with White Rabbit, crypto and metaverse-themed watchmaker Franck Muller, FaithTribe, Chufy, Jacob & Co, Monnier Frères, Gary McQueen, Mert Otsamo, Guo Pei, and AUROBOROS.
Forever 21 also made an appearance at the start of the week. As the Metaverse Fashion Week opened, they debuted a brand new collection of wearables, exclusively avatars inside the metaverse.
Philipp Plein, who we’ve written about before, made his appearance at Metaverse Fashion Week with a signature splash. The brand launched Plein Plaza, a prime district covering 65 parcels of Decentraland real estate. In the plaza, visitors and fashion VIPs were able to visit Philipp Plein’s founded Museum of NFT Arts (M.O.N.A). Additionally, Plein launched his first-ever collection for the metaverse, featuring a fashion show on a special catwalk, in collaboration with 3D artist Antoni Tudisco.
There were plenty of things to do during the week, including panels, after-parties, fashion shows, exclusive proof-of-attendance wearables, and even an appearance by Sophia the robot. Decentraland also featured a space called the Luxury Fashion District, where many of the events took place as pop-ups.
Some musicians performing at the exclusive parties included Bob Sinclar, with the first-ever dance competition in the virtual world, Nicki Nicole who also launched a wearable collection, DJ ICYKOF, and Blond:ish. And of course, Grimes.
Even Estée Lauder appeared as the “exclusive beauty brand” of the event. They minted a free-for-attendees “glow” wearable, based on one of their best-selling night creams.
Fashion Brands are Taking the Metaverse One Step at a Time
Brands used Metaverse Fashion Week as a case study to gauge user interest and gather inspiration for new endeavors.
“It is just the beginning. We need to take one step at a time,” says Giovanna Graziosi Casimiro, the head of Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW).
Despite its shortcomings, Metaverse Fashion Week showed the many luxury brands involved that a digital fashion week is not only possible, but also can evoke consumer interest, is accessible, and spurs novel excitement in a market inundated by a sea of competitors. Decentraland noted that there were 108,000 unique attendees throughout MVFW, much higher than many of its other events.
At the end of the day, Metaverse Fashion Week was the first and largest event to show that future of fashion is online.
If you’d like to see a full run-down of the events, you can head to https://mvfw.org/.