The metaverse is coming. What exactly it’s going to look like, and whether it’s going to be one metaverse or many, is still up for debate. But the sheer weight of investment that tech giants are putting behind the project is a guarantee that we will be spending at least part of our futures floating around in a virtual space.
Which leads to the obvious question that comes up when you’re considering a paradigm-shifting move into virtual space: what will I wear?
The idea of customising characters has been around for decades in gaming, but the concept takes on a new heft when people are considering the look and feel of their own personal metaverse avatar. Just like in the real-world, everyone will want to express themselves and stand out from the crowd. Existing brands and up-and-coming designers are determined to get in early.
Future wardrobe function
March 2022 saw the world’s first Metaverse Fashion Week – taking place not in Paris or Milan, but in the virtual space Decentraland. Attendees could purchase virtual clothing, and also a physical twin for the real world.
This merging pf the physical and digital worlds is one way that fashion products could develop, but other creations are definitely digital-only. In footwear, Nike has partnered with RTFKT to create and sell the Dunk Genesis Cryptokicks. These virtual NFT trainers can cost anywhere between $6000 and $100,000, and will never be worn by human feet.
Other big brands are moving into the virtual space. Balenciaga, Moncler and Adidas have already provided custom clothing for Fortnite…
Other big brands are moving into the virtual space. Balenciaga, Moncler and Adidas have already provided custom clothing for Fortnite – so it’s a short hop to doing the same for wider-ranging virtual worlds. Other brands have collaborated with The Sims, League of Legends, and even Animal Crossing
And independent designers like Auroboros (a metaverse-native luxury fashion house creating “digital-only ready-to-wear”) are inventing clothing that could barely exist in the real world. Think alien tendrils and plant-like, living materials.
On the virtual catwalk, expect the unexpected.