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Puma Virtual
Image via Puma Day-Zero on behance
Written by Danielle Williams

The pandemic has had a generous effect on most industries, including fashion. With the elimination of large gatherings to impede further harm of COVID-19, the fashion industry has had to acclimate to the new societal climate and they’ve used innovative technology such as VR and AR to do so. As expected, there was major panic amongst show producers in regards to fashion week with how to construct a virtuoso production while maintaining social distancing directives. 

But, the concept of a VR fashion show isn’t new and was efficaciously executed in 2017 via New York Fashion Week (NYFW), so why has it taken this long to gain further traction? Attendees of this show were able to become virtually immersed in Milan for the “Dreaming of Italy” show. The expression itself was filmed in Milan a week prior to the publically inclusive show in NYFW. Viewers were welcomed to the runway show through Samsung VR headsets (by invitation only) and were privy to admire the collections with a 360-degree view and the dimension to interrelate with the garments.  

So, we know the technology exists and has been proven operational, but can we ever expect this technology to be accessible for more everyday uses?

Image via hypebae.com

The Innovation of Iridescence

As a result of a recent collaboration between The Fabricant, Dapper Labs, and Johanna Jaskowska, the digitally alluring dress, Iridescence, was inaugurated. The first of its kind, this digital garment was sold to Richard Ma, CEO of QuantumStamp, as a gift for his wife for $9,500 at the Ethereal Summit in New York. Ma has noted that the dress was costly, but he predicts it having “long-term value” and referred to the digital creation as an investment.

The Blockchain

The conception of a digital dress, which subsists only within the blockchain, originates from a 2D design generated through employing photos submitted to the designer, within 28 days of purchase, by whomever is to wear the dress. 

Example: A tailored fashion filter that can only be expended by its owner via Instagram or other social platforms. 

Although Iridescence lacks a physical presence, what gives this paragon denominational weight is its animation within the blockchain. In respect to the procurement of cryptocurrency on the blockchain being an investment, although incorporeal it’s clear why one would trade cryptocurrency for a digitally fashioned dress.

Brand Advantages

Increased Engagement
  • Virtual fashion shows 
  • Increases brand awareness
Lower Cost
  • Lower production cost for fashion shows, thus making them more approachable for the public to attend
  • Direct purchasing within the fashion show app
  • Opportunity to debut collections that are physically distanced
Data Collection
  • Resource for consumer data obtainment 
  • Analytics are available at a lower cost than they would be offline
  • Easier to recognize elements and flows that boost engagement
Inspire your Audience
  • The ability to bring inimitable conceptions to your viewers 
  • Create anticipation through curiosity around the technology
Viral Advertising
  • Users are able to share the experience with others
  • Creates a viral loop
Endless Possibilities for Expression
  • Not limited by gravity or physics
  • Ability to experiment with any material or texture
Body and Gender Inclusive
  • Some, if not all virtual designs are specific to whomever, will wear it
  • Gives a new meaning to “one size fits all’”
  • Genderless and sizeless pieces

VR Try-On

With the existing societal climate in mind, brands are exploring other options to bring their products to consumers. The pandemic has almost depleted the chance to try on an item before purchasing it, so why not try on a virtual replica at home? This alternative to shopping would even reduce carbon emissions with less travel to or from stores.  With the materialization of social distancing and increased environmental awareness, people are making more conscious choices when it comes to buying. An example of this technology in use is from a company called Dress-X, they are the first completely digital clothing eCommerce available to the public.

What is Dress-X?

Leaders in the digital fashion game, Dress-X is the first multi-brand retailer carrying digital collections that is available on a global level. They stock products from recognizable designers and brands that originated in a physical realm but have now been rendered into a digital experience. With their vision, they’re aspiring to edify society with the concept that not all clothing needs to be corporeal. 

Virtual dress
Image via Techstyler on Instagram
VR Collection
Gif via Techstyler by Adam Reid on Instagram

Big Brands Embracing VR

  1.  Dior Try-On uses an app to allow you to try on sunglasses through your smartphone
  2. Sephora, L’oreal, Charlotte Tilbury and Rimmel, are using VR applications such as ‘ModiFace’ for consumers to try on make-up
  3. Burberry ‘ARKit’ – An AR experience purely for iOS users that allows you to redecorate your surroundings with Burberry-inspired drawings by the artist Danny Sangra.
  4.  Puma ‘LQD Cell Origin Air‘ – Covered in QR codes, these sneakers give you AR experiences once scanned with a smartphone; including filters, effects, and even games.
  5. Balmain VR – Go BTS with Balmain via their app that takes you to AR content and live runway shows.

The Future of VR/AR Fashion

Fashion, designing, retail, manufacturing and other aspects of the industry are shifting towards digital methods. Fashion retailers using an AR platform for their customers shopping experience are gaining more engagement, increased sales and well-earned brand loyalty. This insta-worthy way to shop is likely going to become the new normal as we adapt to a socially distant form of life, but we’re ok with it! VR fashion can save time, reduce waste and carbon emissions, is more inclusive and cost effective, so why wouldn’t you embrace it? We at ALA HAUSSE are ready to embrace VR fashion with open arms because we love a sustainable alternative in the fashion industry!

Via ÀLA.HAUSSE‘s Multi-functional and Multi-purposeful Fashion Ecosystem- BUY/SELL/RENT/LEND/ (swap BETA 2021) mobile application, INDIVIDUALS & brands ( BETA 2021) are encouraged to REBUY, RESELL, REUSE and UP-CYCLE their personal “Clossets” aka Clothing Assets, along with overstock inventory and samples. Through this consumerism habit shift we indirectly slow down the urgency on fashion’s carbon footprint, aiding sustainability as a whole.

BETA Early Access Application Now Open for CA Fashion Lovers: Apply Now for LAST CALL 

with Stories on www.alahausse.ca

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