In a near perfect convergence of sustainability and modernity, the fashion market is now gradually turning to the realm of augmented reality.
In 2019, the world’s first digital dress was sold by The Fabricant for more than $9,000 and, since then, US-based company Tribute, and Norwegian company Carlings, are among those who have turned their talents to addressing a potential gap in the fashion market by designing collections that exist solely in cyber space.
These designs cater to social media’s userbase of more than 3.6 billion. Rather than investing thousands into real-life creations, Instagrammers and Tweeters can instead purchase designs that sit on the intersection between fashion and graphic design without ever taking a physical form. With bitcoin continuing to gain headway in the industry, the potential for a revolution in the world of online fashion seems more likely than ever before.
Here, the realm of social media is able to intersect with digital entertainment, where the market for online experiences offers a powerful medium for a wide range of industries.
The Market for Digital Experiences
The notion of blurring the line between the ‘real’ and the ‘digital’ is, of course, not a new one. We are able to attend virtual concerts, go on dates with partners halfway across the globe, and, of course, stream new releases from anywhere, at any time.
The entertainment industry is able to thrive within the digital landscape. We can take it with us wherever we go, access it twenty-four hours a day, and escape the limitations of everyday life. This is one of the main reasons why the gaming industry is booming within an incredibly varied market; digital experiences can be shaped by the players themselves. Gameplay can emulate the same thrill and excitement of live gaming with options as varied as live esports tournaments and Vegas-style Tropic Reels Slot, whenever and wherever they are.
The Scope of Virtual Fashion
Already, the fashion industry is experimenting with cyberspace. Gucci recently designed their own line of sportswear for its own app-based game, and Louis Vuitton unveiled a fashion line existing solely within esports’ League of Legends. As such, the notion of digital fashion is not an entirely new one, but the move toward fashion to be ‘worn’ by human shoppers signals a deeper investment into our virtual lifestyles.
In reality, fabrics do not always behave, and pushing the usual boundaries of wearable fashion often comes at the expense of comfort – or even our ability to walk in a straight line. Online, these limitations no longer exist; we are as capable of wearing art as we are of creating it in the first place. What’s more, it doesn’t take up wardrobe space – nor do we need to continue wearing our couture to the supermarket just to make the purchase worthwhile.
And, in a world where the line that divides our ‘true’ selves from our online personas is becoming sharper than ever before, the notion of investing into an entirely new wardrobe – one which exists only for the lives we lead online – begins to seem almost inevitable.
At this stage, it’s difficult to predict the trajectory of virtual fashion; as the industry resumes its experimentation with replacing fabric with pixels and reality with the artistry of illusion, the potential for an entirely new realm of ecommerce continues to grow. While many of us have yet to stray into the world of virtual fashion, the same could have been said for the origins of many current fashion trends and digital experiences. So ,the next time you’re browsing your favourite celebrity’s Instagram feed look closely at the outfit that really catches your eye – you may be able to spot where they have made the move into the world of digital fashion.