Just after fashion month in the physical world, Decentraland will host a four-day digital fashion week replete with virtual shows, stores and events.

The front row and after party are included, but tickets are available. Your digital outfit is important, but the season doesn’t matter. Welcome to Metaverse Fashion Week.

IFN Network through IFN Foundation is creating its own Fashion Metaverse wich preview has been given during last edition of ALTAROMA at the “International Couture Show held at Regina Hotel Baglioni in via Veneto in Roma. The Metaverse Platform Decentraland will host its first Metaverse Fashion Week starting March 24th. Dozens of global brands and thousands of visitors virtually experience a runway show and join a live music session at the brand’s afterparty or digital clothing directly from the runway-a functional avatar to buy and wear. The four-day virtual event features showrooms, shops, lectures and events. Hugo, part of the newly rebranded Hugo Boss, recently signed a deal with MVFW partner Bosson Protocol to make it possible to purchase Hugo’s physical products within Metaverse, including Metaverse Fashion Week, and announced its participation. Became one of the first brands. Organizers are silent about other brands, but say they involve home names, luxury brands, emerging brands, and digital-first creators. Since the project was announced in late December, more brands have shown interest than Decentraland can host.

Decentraland’s MVFW provides some important insights into the evolution of the fashion metaverse. Set as a virtual home for Global Fashion Week, this first event provides brands with an environment for testing the technology of 3D virtual world platforms in a relatively low-risk way. Decentraland is one of the few prominent Metaverse open platforms alongside the Sandbox, and many investors have already purchased land to build shopping malls.

Virtual avatars will be walking the runways, some of which will be shoppable and wearable, meaning people can wear the digital items in Decentraland, and some collections will have a physical twin. For example, a person visiting MVFW might buy a digital item via an NFT and wear it instantly on their avatar; they can choose to sell that item or keep it and redeem the NFT to also receive the brands physical complement. (Not all brands will have a physical component.) While visiting a virtual store, they might scan a QR code to see a realistic looking 3D render of the item pop up in their physical space at home, via a smartphone camera. Anyone can attend MVFW, but to buy a wearable, they’ll need an Ethereum wallet. Most events will be open access, but some brands have enquired about VIP access or front row seats, which could be used to reward current NFT owners with special access or free items. Apart from the purchase options, appearance is also important. What makes a fashion show special is the design of the set, the soundtrack and the overall mood. UNXD, a luxurious NFT marketplace affiliated with Dolce & Gabbana at NFT, helps curate the program.

“We want to help the onboarding process and push creativity and show everyone what is possible,” says Sam Hamilton, creative director at Decentraland Foundation, the nonprofit that oversees the 3D virtual world platform. “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.”

People can explore via customisable avatars and connect their crypto wallet to buy items, including digital clothes. Similar to competitor The Sandbox, people can buy virtual plots of land where they can build or rent out spaces that enable many of the same functions as the physical world, including concerts, parties and shopping, with items sold as NFTs.

This event hopes to serve as a destination for official Virtual Fashion Week compared to the one-off virtual event that has served as an alternative or complement to physical events for the past two years. To date, digital fashion shows include All Digital Helsinki Fashion Week and the Virtual Reality fashion event Fabric of Reality. Several brands have opted for digital-only shows and presentations, such as Balenciaga’s Afterworld and Hanifa’s digital-only catwalk. All of this was done in 2020.

Since then, digital fashion and virtual space have evolved from niche to mainstream, and brands take these virtual events and their audiences more seriously. Brands such as Gucci and Ralph Lauren have opened virtual pop-ups on the Metaverse platforms Roblox and Zepeto. Nike and Vans have opened permanent spaces, among other things, in Roblox. Justin Banon, CEO and co-founder of the Boson Protocol, said: , An MVFW partner that provides technology that allows brands to link physical items to NFT sales. “Brands need a metaverse strategy. It’s like being switched on.”

This is not the first major event in Decentraland. In October, 40,000 people gathered at the four-day music festival, featuring artists such as Deadmaus and Autograf and 80 artists. Since then, up to 12 Decentraland events have been held each day, with daily attendance records regardless of the event, Hamilton says. In December, the platform reached 500,000 monthly active users. “We found that we were setting an example and leading, and many brought their communities and musicians,” he says. Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Tokens.com and chair of Metaverse Group, said the event was also a way for artists to attract new audiences. “People with these avatars are attentive to their skin, so this started spinning the wheels of fashion brands. When I go to Coachella, I’m wondering what to wear. Look stylish. People are willing to invest money if they want. “

What to expect at MVFW fashion week

Organizers are helping brands create the right look and feel for Decentraland by connecting their brands with technology partners, including the Boson Protocol, which has a virtual store on its own premises. increase. Threedium also transforms physical products into avatar-enabled wearables, 3D clothing, and augmented reality experiences. Threedium’s services range from $ 2,000 to $ 100,000.
Expect a fantastic and practical combination of digital items to be sold. Those who have a digital twin may look like a “cousin” just because the look and feel of Decentraland isn’t realistic. “Recreating what’s really happening for a runway show may not be the best option,” said AlDente, head of new business and communications for luxury fashion consultant AlDente, who has worked with LVMH and Versace. Clément Roumegous says. “Something new needs to come out. It’s definitely a great opportunity to add something unprecedented to the brand world and its cultural aura.”

Most shops will live in a permanent “fashion district” currently under construction within Decentraland. Digital fashion brand Republique has partnered with French accessory retailer Monnier Frères, which already sells digital clothing, to launch a store with about 15 other brands of digital items. Republique’s team of digital designers is helping various brands digitize their products, said James Gaubert, founder of Republique. This is the growing interest in this feature, he says, and the brand had to aggressively turn down potential customers. Republique skins were originally priced from $ 10 to $ 15 (not as NFTs), but the brand sells NFTs on MVFW, and one skill raises the price to about $ 1,500.

The risks and challenges

In two years, the digital fashion show has evolved from a niche concept to a hotspot. Much depends on this moment as the brand (again) cancels the physical show and the NFT earns millions of dollars for luxury fashion.
This is a relatively new platform, and navigating spaces is a new behavior for many visitors and brands, so some people are prepared for occasional hiccups. For example, the Decentraland experience may not run smoothly on some computers. “I’m worried that people can’t go to work laptops and have a great experience, and then maybe they’ll be postponed,” says Gaubert of Rebublique. “People have to be patient. Hopefully this will be the first of many.”

Gaubert also warns brands not to rush into the Metaverse experience. “The fact that Hugo Boss, Balenciaga and Burberry are in attendance is great for raising awareness, but there are still small gaps in education and recruitment.”

As Threedium CEO Mike Charalambous says, even the event’s tech partners warn the brand not to “close their eyes and dive.” “Brands need a long-term strategy, even if they do it with short-term goals. Usually, brands that don’t have metaverse experience or metaverse DNA are small at first and wearable in Decentraland. It’s a good idea to create a few to see the process and its appearance, because it’s not an ultra-super photorealistic design. Create them something that can reduce brand equity. I don’t want you to do it, so there are a lot of delicate things to worry about. “

There is also concern that smaller brands, which have less budget than larger homes, may not have the resources or incentives to participate. “I’m always advocating innovation and I strongly believe in the promise that digital experiences are democratic, but I’ll look at how democratic digital experiences are,” said Flux’s global client in fashion. Partner Liam Osbourne said. A division of the digital production company MediaMonks. For example, he states: Who and how are the models selected? If it simply duplicates what we see in the real world, it’s not very interesting to me. “

He adds that the digital front row and closure after the party could duplicate the barriers to entry that mimic the physical world. “It’s great to see what access rules apply, not the traditional means of access to wealth or power. Everyone just talks about the tremendous value of digital assets. It only moves to areas that are difficult for the average person to tackle. “

Some technology partners unofficially share some brand names, but brands are hesitant to officially announce their participation. According to Roumegous, AlDente is unaware of the customer brands that have confirmed their participation. “But during this event, we follow the branding initiative very closely. It will be very interesting to see which designers and creative minds in the fashion industry are there.”

Al Dente’s customers aren’t ready to transfer their participation yet, but Roumegous reminds us that it can change. “Many things can happen in a few weeks, we have to keep it!”

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