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Virtual Fashion

Designers sell Digital Fashion that don’t really exist

The “digital fashion” trend, where people buy 3D digital clothing that doesn’t actually exist, has been on the rise in recent years and is turning into a major market.

The virtual existence of man and his image in the virtual world is increasingly ahead of his physical existence. One of the signs of this is that the selfie culture and photo editing tools are so addictive that they can have an impact on mental health. On the other hand, virtual influencers affect the trends; We see that they have become an important marketing channel for giant brands like Calvin Klein and Prada. Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, worked with Louis Vuitton for the costumes of the virtual hip hop group True Damage last month, triggering different predictions in our minds. But if there is something more striking than designing virtual clothing for virtual characters, it is probably that real people buy digital clothing that does not exist in reality. This new trend is called digital fashion.

Digital fashion includes only 3D rendered clothing that is available virtually. When you do some research on the internet, you can see in many sources that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. Therefore, slow fashion and sustainable fashion concepts have entered our lives in recent years. B Corp certified brands such as Reflect Studio and Patagonia also shed light on the industry as ethical fashion brands. As the consumer becomes more conscious, in a period when the fashion industry is experiencing a crisis, digital fashion has started to be seen as the green alternative that makes it look stylish with zero waste.

Digital fashion designs can be worn on a digital avatar or embedded in a person’s image. There are times when a virtual version of a real-world garment is made, but this is very rare. Except for these rare cases, these designs are not existing in the real world. Imagine what kind of new doors this process could open for designers in the densely digitalized world we live in and how it could revolutionize the industry.

How did we get to the “digital fashion” point?

The concept of digital fashion is actually not that new. For example, in 2016, Bitmoji partnered with luxury fashion store Bergdorf Goodman to enable users to dress up their avatars from Zac Posen, Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein and other top fashion brands. Thus, even a user who could not wear the designs of these brands in real life could dress their avatar with them. In 2018, Scandinavian retail chain Carlings joined this trend by launching its first digital apparel collection called Neo-Ex. Pieces in this 19-piece collection are on sale at a low price ($ 11-33).

In May 2019, the emergence of The Fabricant, based in the Netherlands, which was established as the world’s first digital fashion house, was a very striking development. Finnish animator Kerry Murphy laid the foundations for this company in 2018, inspired by fashion design student Amber Slooten’s fully digital graduation portfolio. In a world that goes to bed with social media, it seemed a good idea to produce new looks without having to produce physical looks. A pop-up store in London is currently encouraging customers to try digital clothing to test the commercial potential of digital fashion. The consumer can buy a digital garment in exchange for an unused / old garment.

Digital fashion trend is rising, a new and big market is taking shape. Of course, this will transform the fashion industry we are used to. On the other hand, as long as we exist physically, our need for physical clothing does not end. If we come to a point where we do not need physical bodies, like in the movie Evolution (Transcendence), we can upload our consciousness to computers, then it is different. However, at a point where humanity progresses to that degree, being externally oriented may probably become a very primitive approach and lose its validity. What would you say?

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