Decentraland’s highly-anticipated Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) has come to a close and with it the fashion world has had its first taste of what the industry could look like through a fully digital experience. Running over the course of four days, from March 24 to 27, MVFW boasted a hefty schedule consisting of over 60 designers, brands and retailers looking to get in on the virtual action.
Among the events, which were all completely free to attend, a number of afterparties, masses of store openings and a series of digital collections were available for viewing on the digital platform. Special areas dedicated specifically to brand partners or the fashion industry as a whole were also launched in the 3D world, a possible nod to Decentraland’s intention to continue building on fashion’s place in its virtual world.
Store openings, digital retail and meta malls
Decentraland Fashion Week was a great opportunity for brands to launch digital stores and pop-ups in various districts of the city. Every brand’s phygital collection, exclusive non-fungible token (NFT) drops, and branded activations were displayed in a variety of purpose-built store spaces. Customers were able to buy both digital and physical goods from these stores, which linked directly to the platform’s own cryptocurrency through wallets on their digital devices.
Selfridges was one of the exhibitors at the event, unveiling a flagship store with a Paco Rabanne and Victor Vasarely-designed immersive experience. An art gallery of exclusive NFTs was housed in the location that looked like Selfridges’ Birmingham store, and visitors could tour the building to see it.
Additionally, DKNY and Casablanca were among the brands that Threedium and Boson Protocol collaborated with to open a digital mall during MVFW. With a digital remake of its spring 2022 collection and purchaseable NFTs, Tommy Hilfiger was one of the stores set to open in this location during the store opening schedule. Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, and Franck Muller all opened stores in Decentraland’s Luxury Fashion District, which was created in partnership with UNXD, along the digital street, which was inspired by Paris’ Avenue Montaigne.
Rarible’s Fresh Drip Zone, with its New York-style streets and pop-ups from 12 different brands, was another area where well-known names like Puma, Perry Ellis, and Fred Segal could be found. The Fabricant, which also hosted a runway show, and Placebo, which offered virtual wearables and NFTs for the sportswear brand enthusiasts, were also in attendance as digital fashion houses. One-of-a-kind NFTs and a carefully curated selection of digital garments were available for purchase at a dome-shaped Rarible store in the temporary location.
Industry presentations, panels and parties
This year’s event featured a variety of panel discussions, ranging from NFTs to virtual fashion history. Attendees totaled more than 30 according to MVFW curator and CEO of Cash Labs, the web3 strategy agency that supported the event’s development. The likes of fashion photographer Nick Knight, Vogue Singapore editor-in-chief Norman Tan, and fashion/furniture designer Alexandre de Betak were among the speakers presented by Cash Labs on MVFW’s MainStage.
The ‘fireside chat’ hosted by Boson Protocol’s Justin Banon and Victoria May and’metaverse expert’ Cathy Hackl included Tommy Hilfiger, who was virtually present via Skype. Hilfiger talked about his thoughts on metaverse fashion and what it means for designers.
At the recent New York Fashion Week, a select group of high-end brands showcased looks that often drew inspiration from their actual collections. Dolce & Gabbana, an Italian luxury brand, debuted a digital collection of logo-heavy looks on feline-like models. A number of fast fashion companies also got in on the action, hosting pop-ups, opening permanent locations, or participating in runway activations. E-commerce company Cider was one of them, launching an immersive retail space and presenting a fashion show that allowed visitors to purchase digital wearables for their avatar.
Showcased at a pop-up in the Luxury Fashion District, Dundas showcased digital dresses. For those interested in pre-ordering the MVFW-exclusive items, you could do so through UNXD’s online marketplace. They were displayed in a specially designed store with a Dundas black panther logo. Visitors to the store were able to see models wearing the clothing in real life on a screen installed in the establishment.
For those who missed the catwalks, the event also featured afterparties and virtual performances that brought a taste of the real world to the metaverse. Kollectiff and other Decentraland partners hosted a smattering of singer-hosted parties during MVFW, including Nicki Nicole and Tribute Band. After a DJ set by Grimes, a DJ set by singer-songwriter Claire Boucher, better known as Grimes, ended the event. In the end, an avatar of the artist in an Auroboros bodysuit danced on a suspended platform at the end of the performance.
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