The rise of the metaverse has not gone unnoticed by the fashion industry. Holding true to the creative spark, fashion houses are embracing the digital revolution.
The first official Metaverse Fashion Week began March 23 and runs through Sunday, March 27. Designers are arriving by the dozen to deliver cutting-edge digital stylings from the world’s leading brands. Hosted on metaverse platform Decentraland, cutting-edge labels will host thousands of visitors sitting runway-side at virtual fashion shows, rocking out at after parties and live music sessions, and purchasing digital clothing directly from the catwalk for their avatars. Outside the action, fans can browse showrooms, visit stores, and attend keynote addresses and key events during the virtual event.
Why is there such a buzz for fashion that, instead of appearing in the physical realm, only appears online as digital wearables?
Perry Ellis vice president of design Thomas Harvey and director of innovation Isaac Korn are here to provide answers and key insights to The Manual readers.
(This interview been edited for clarity.)
TM: Why did Perry Ellis decide to participate in Metaverse Fashion Week?
Korn: This initiative is a part of Perry Ellis America’s plan of offering immersive experiences and creative brand activations for our customers. We’re excited to experiment with different ways of reaching our audience and to show up where they are living and playing. Participation in Metaverse Fashion Week complements the brand’s broader strategy of creating multiple touchpoints to expand our brand universe and tell our story in new ways.
TM: How were the outfits for the show designed? What considerations did you have for metaverse clothing?
Korn: The collection will feature items from the brand’s Spring Summer 2022 collection. The wearables have been developed by a highly specialized 3D production team at our partners’ innovation studio Kinestry. We used cutting-edge technology to ensure the assets look and move like real clothes, while focusing in on small design details that, as with physical clothing, capture the brand’s spirit for style and innovation.
TM: How does this align with the company’s overall mission/target market?
Harvey: We speak to the modern style enthusiast, who isn’t constrained by boundaries. Our audience lives at the intersection of design, fashion, innovation, and technology, and we’re excited to find them here at Metaverse Fashion Week. The idea of online virtual stores and the ability to purchase and collect digital wearables and skins are second nature to (this enthusiast), so we’re thrilled to be on the front lines of the convergence of style and technology.
TM: Do these virtual clothes have equals in the physical world? Are there plans to bring the virtual and physical worlds together?
Korn: Yes, the wearables have corresponding physical items available on our e-commerce site, PerryEllis.com. We are working on other projects that will realize how the virtual meets the physical. It’s an exciting time to work on how to bridge the two.
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