FASHION’S LATEST VICTIM? CLOTHING.
We’re entering the era of digital clothing
Digital clothing has arrived, and its implications are not to be understated. This virtual clothing retails online and, once purchased, is digitally-rendered onto a photo supplied by the buyer, a process that is nothing short of paradigm-shifting. The initiative, which is inspired by the massive popularity of gaming skins as well as the recent rise of virtual influencers, directly refutes the wastefulness of fast-fashion and challenges consumers to think of the future of conscious consumption.
Scandinavian fashion retailer Carlings—which counts more than 200 physical retail outposts across Norway, Sweden, and Finland—partnered with Vice Media-owned Virtue Nordic to sell digital clothes that start at 10 euros for accessories but go up to 30 euros for outerwear. Shoppers browse the virtual clothing offerings online, purchase their desired pieces (which are genderless and come in any size they desire), and upload a photo they want the clothes digitally-imposed on. A designer then renders the digital clothing purchase onto the photo so that the subject is “wearing” the virtual garments. Carlings’ virtual clothing initiative, which was inspired by the concept of gaming skins, was intended to generate awareness around the fashion industry’s harmful environmental practices.
Digital fashion house The Fabricant collaborated with artist Johanna Jaskowska and blockchain startup Dapper Labs for the debut of ‘Iridescence,’ the world’s first piece of digital couture. The unique piece, which this writer would describe as a billowing, long-sleeve, multi-layered jumpsuit made out of rippling iridescent silver fabric, sold for $9,500 (as a digital blockchain asset) in an auction at The Ethereal Summit in New York, effectively pricing virtual couture. Iridescence’s buyer had 28 days to submit a photo they wanted the garment imposed on for designers at The Fabricant to render the digital garment to the photo, creating a piece of content that the recipient could then use as they pleased.
Berlin-based fashion platform Lukso is developing a blockchain-based ecosystem that would effectively provide a global platform for the fashion industry to harness the power of blockchain for multiple initiatives. One such initiative is the representation of virtual fashion items, which would enable digital clothing to be ownable, transferable, and tradeable via the Lukso blockchain. This would, in turn, shift the notion of digital clothing from a mere novelty to a valuable virtual collectible with proof-able ownership and uniqueness, which translates to scarcity.