How NFTs and the Metaverse can keep fashion luxurious

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It’s no secret that the fashion industry has begun to explore the cryptoverse, with brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Philipp Plein and Tiffany & Co. taking his own path down the metaverse runway.

Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week hinted at a new wave of fashion, as Philipp Plein brought the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFT) directly into his London store. The innovative technology mixed with the ever-changing fashion world was an inevitable pair, but there is always room for more.

Even during its inception, the promise of the metaverse convinced people to pay millions for land in the virtual worlds – so, why not fashion? The fashion industry is always looking for new ways to innovate and create new traditions.

While the metaverse removes the tangible aspect that appeals to many in the fashion industry, it is a new way to experience wearing and using beautiful pieces digitally on a personal avatar. Lokesh Rao, CEO of Trace Network Labs, previously told Cointelegraph that “a digital avatar can wear any clothing without limitations of type, design, fabric and use.”

As many know, however, the fashion industry remains one of the most exclusive industries in the world. With Chanel’s bag quota or purchase criteria and the long waiting list to get an Hermès Birkin or Kelly, a lot of influence in the fashion industry comes from exclusivity, price, clothes and, in many cases, who you know.

And as many fashion enthusiasts understand, there’s nothing like opening the box of a long-coveted piece and holding, wearing and loving it for the first time. The idea of ​​luxury is a mixture of both exclusivity and passion. Why should fashion in the metaverse be any different?

Preserve and foster traditions

While outstanding brands value their traditions, they should also evolve over time. However, appealing to a new user base while keeping the existing ones entertained is not easy.

In a fight to retain customers and enthusiasts loyal to the brand, Indrė Viltrakytė, a fashion entrepreneur and the founder of Web3 fashion company The Rebels, suggested that they “co-create digital wearables with members of their community and sharing commercial rights/profits or royalties with them. ”

In this case, Viltrakytė told Cointelegraph that digital collectibles could help show fashion enthusiasts’ interest in a brand. These would not only be available to influencers, or the lucky ones who get PR packages for their large following and interest in a brand, but could be for everyone.

For example, Maison Margiela could offer a certain amount of digital wearables with the purchase of a pair of the Bianchetto Tabi Boot. The boots can be worn in the Metaverse and in real life for those die-hard fans who don’t necessarily have a following behind them.

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Tiffany & Co. have already done something similar with their CryptoPunk NFT collection NFTiff, a collection of CryptoPunk-inspired NFTs that are “exclusive to CryptoPunk owners.”

For 30 Ether (ETH), CryptoPunk owners can secure a physical version of their favorite and arguably most expensive NFT to be worn as a status symbol. This is something that would not be exclusive to those with influence and can carry online into the new era of the little blue box of Tiffany, an iconic logo of the brand.

Digital fashions are non-fungible

NFTs, according to to the Ethereum Foundation, are “tokens that we can use to represent ownership of unique items.” They cannot be modified or deleted once minted, and “digital assets never deteriorate,” Viltrakytė said.

Unfortunately, many assets in the fashion industry, such as the aforementioned Birkin, which “outperformed the S&P 500 for 35 years,” according to to Finty, can be stolen, destroyed or worn out over time without proper care. This is where digital assets step up because, “like some ultra-exclusive, non-tangible experiences currently available, not everything expensive needs to be ‘touched’ to have value,” Viltrakytė noted.

Furthermore, outside of collectors and curators, it is almost impossible for an enthusiast to get their hands on an archive piece, especially if preservation might be an issue. Sometimes, brands will show their archive in cities like Paris or Milan for a limited time, but in many cases, it is a private thing owned by private people. However, one way that brands can take advantage of this exclusivity of a non-deteriorating asset is through NFTs and blockchain-based NFT museums.

Viltrakytė said, “If NFT gives you direct access to Chanel archives or the creative director of Hermès, it means the special status you can have or even upgrade over time.” The NFT will never expire, and there will always be a way to create a luxurious and exclusive experience.

Another way, she suggested, is to create something like a fashion link, where after a certain point, the NFT can be exchanged for a luxury item. “For example, if you’re an Hermès customer and would like to buy a deed for your daughter to redeem for a one-of-a-kind bag on her 18th birthday, you can do it seamlessly as an NFT,” she said. , adding:

“Paper certificates burn; servers crash and lose data; but blockchain doesn’t lie, and a non-fungible token like that would be 100 times more liquid, verifiable and more durable than any traditional document.”

Embrace e-commerce and the technology

As exciting as it is to go to the store and try, feel, walk around and experience the store and its clothes, e-commerce is already on its way to becoming the main way to shop. The metaverse can help make it as luxurious and modern as traveling to Paris to buy a beloved Kelly. A new and creative approach is necessary because, as Viltrakytė said, “now, post-covid, 99.99% of brands sell online, including Hermès.” Brands need to embrace what technology can do for their image and customers.

Viltrakytė believes that the industry is in the experimental phase of Web3 and virtual reality to see how they really affect the fashion industry, because “we don’t have solutions capable of making digital clothing ‘correct'”. When we have ‘good enough’ depth sensors in the front camera of our smartphones and AR technology that can ‘fit’ any object perfectly to anyone, it will be the real start of the digital wearable era.”

According to Vogue Business, Los Angeles modeling agency, Photogenics, already has experimented with this type of technology creating “avatars by 3D scanning the faces of models, while their bodies were rendered from scratch.” The models and their avatars, customized to the model’s preference of reality or creativity, are available for use in the metaverse as virtual models.

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Digital wearables can also shape who we are online. If one decides to move into the metaverse for various reasons, identity there is as important as it is in real life. In fashion, people use details to express themselves, adding their own embroidery to pieces and personalizing it to represent their personality. This concept will be as important online as offline, as Viltrakytė suggested:

“The virtual presence can be an extension of one’s physical self and personality, or it can be something completely different from who a person is in real life. I think we’re going to see a mix of those two concepts.”

The simple fact is that the technology doesn’t exist yet. But as the fashion industry has proven time and time again, “our creativity shows how we can take advantage of this potential in the fashion industry.”