A recent report from technology research and advisory firm Technavio predicts that the metaverse will reach a market share value of $50.37 billion by 2026. So, it should come as no surprise that the trillion-dollar fashion industry is starting to take a major interest in the metaverse.
While most brands and luxury brands are still focused on creating non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to replicate physical items, a handful of projects have begun to bring their communities into the metaverse.
For example, on September 5, Vogue Singapore launched Web3’s premiere fashion community known as “The New World of Vogue Singapore”. While Vogue Singapore previously showed interest in NFTs by coding its September 2021 cover, Natasha Damodaran — Managing Director of Vogue Singapore — told Cointelegraph that the publication has gone a step further by creating a virtual experience that includes the global “new fashion” theme.” He explained. Damodaran stated that the platform allows its community to interact with different types of content and images.
Vogue Singapore’s New World is currently letting users explore a world inspired by surrealism featuring a welcome video from Vogue cover star and supermodel Lina Zhang for September 2022. Users can also try out an AI-generated beauty shoot called Bio RESONANCE by artist Terry Gates, alongside along with digital costume design by Chinese designer Yimeng Yu created exclusively for Vogue Singapore.”
A glimpse into the new world of Vogue Singapore. Source: Vogue Singapore
Damodaran explained that Vogue’s metaverse is powered by Spatial.io, a metaverse platform that specializes in 3D spaces. The virtual space is also designed by Polycount.io, an agency focused on NFTs.
Gianna Valentina, Head of Marketing at Spatial, told Cointelegraph that Vogue Singapore is accessible across mobile devices, desktops, and virtual reality (VR). She added that users who enter the new world are able to create a custom avatar that can then be worn in exclusive Vogue wearable creations designed by fashion designer Yimeng Yu. Damodaran also noted that users can interact directly with Vogue Singapore’s September cover, while reading various pieces of content related to the images.
While Vogue Singapore’s New World allows a more engaging way for users to view and read content, Valentina stressed that this also allows brands and communities to build better experiences. In fact, Damodaran noted, the metaverse provides brands with an opportunity to expand their reach into other market segments while demonstrating creativity and craftsmanship. “For Vogue, this means connecting the fashion community and introducing them to Web3 and vice versa while continuing to create ways of sharing that are relevant to digital platforms,” she said.
Although still new, the concept resonated with Yu, who created the two digital fashion designs for the platform. Yu told Cointelegraph that the development of digital technology and the boom of online life in the post-pandemic era has opened up new opportunities for the fashion industry. She said:
Digital technologies and intelligent production innovate the fashion design paradigm, production process, display method, retail funnel and user experience in the fashion industry. In both a designer’s creativity and user experience perspective, the metaverse brings endless possibilities to the fashion industry.”
Couture design for Vogue Singapore’s New World by Yimeng Yu. Source: Vogue Singapore
Regarding the new opportunities, Stephen Kolb, CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) — a nonprofit trade association founded in 1962 and made up of American fashion designers — told Cointelegraph that to boost the influence of American fashion globally, the CFDA decided to launch a show in Metaverse:
“As we were thinking of ways to celebrate our 60th anniversary, we decided it had to be a front-facing, and the show in the Metaverse was a perfect way to honor our past while keeping an eye on what’s to come.”
Similar to Vogue Singapore, Kolb explained that he hopes CFDA’s entry into the metaverse will reach new audiences while sparking interest in American fashion and designers: “Since it’s in the metaverse, people don’t need to travel to see the show, but can enjoy it from the comfort of their own home.”
Kolb shared that CFDA’s entry to Web3 will be marked by a curated retrospective of the last 60 years of American fashion, along with a collection of commemorative NFTs for auction to benefit the CFDA Foundation. The exhibition is expected to open in December 2022 at the Sandbox.
While this marks the CFDA’s first foray into Web3, Kolb noted that the organization has yet to launch an official platform. Although the Vogue Singapore metaverse is expected to evolve (with a new phase launching in October 2022), Kolb explained that the CFDA’s metaverse is a “test and learn” for the organization. The CFDA will