What Does the Metaverse Mean for Luxury Fashion?
14 October 2022

What Does the Metaverse Mean for Luxury Fashion?

With all this talk of the “Metaverse“, what is it, really? And what does this have to do with luxury fashion?

Metaverse: Our New Alternate Reality?

The new kid in town, the term “Metaverse” is the new sexy buzzword, the new meta, if you will. Mention this term and you’d hear a bunch of different answers/responses ranging from “it’s for gamer geeks” and “an imaginary make-believe world”, to a more dystopic perspective such as “addictive” or “a world in which people go, to escape life’s realities”.  Yet, this is only partially true.

Journee Exclusible
How do you like my Prada outfit in the Metaverse complete with Flame heels?

Although the gaming industry does seem to embrace the Metaverse with its immersive AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) capabilities where virtual avatars are used to navigate these worlds, this concept has existed since the earlier days of gaming, but of course, minus the advanced technology that we have today: think The Sims, Second Life, and the likes of these. More recently, the popular online video game Fortnite had also partnered with musicians like Ariana Grande and Travis Scott to host Metaverse concerts, and Lil Nas X’s Roblox concert last year,  garnered 33 million views. And then we have Metaverse land, offices, and real estate properties in which you can display your NFTs, host parties and events, and even hang out with your friends by way of your avatars and chat with them in real time via voice chat. So yes, the Metaverse is indeed not exclusive to just the gaming world.

Partying With Friends in friend's Dubai Property
Partying it up with Friends on the dancefloor in a friend’s Dubai property

Flossy's Penthouse

In short, regardless whether VR or AR are utilised, the Metaverse can be considered as an immersive and interactive alternate reality that we can “enter” with our avatars, accessible via a URL, just like any other website (think Ready Player One movie). The Metaverse is therefore a natural extension of the Internet, and forms part of the Web3 ecosystem. Another thing to note, is that the Metaverse itself is not made up of a singular entity – there are a myriad of Metaverse platforms in Web3, including The Sandbox, Decentraland, Spatial, and Exclusible, to name a few.

Exclusible Penthouse Movie Time
Watching a Movie In Real Time with a Friend in a Metaverse Penthouse by the beach

How does Luxury Fashion Fit Into the Metaverse?

Now that we’ve established what the Metaverse is, how does it benefit Luxury Fashion?

Well, the luxury fashion industry has already begun to penetrate the Metaverse with the launch of digital fashion, or  “wearables” as they are known in Web3 (i.e. “clothing”  and accessories for your Metaverse avatars, which are actually NFTs themselves) and this is only expected to become more commonplace in the near future. Projects like The Fabricant have already begun working with designers to launch such wearables, while The Dematerialised have created an experiential marketplace for fashion NFTs and has already been featured in renowned fashion publications such as Vogue, Forbes, WWD, and The Business of Fashion. 

According to a study by Morgan Stanley, digital luxury goods, especially wearables, are expected to grow an additional US$50 billion by 2030. At this point, you’re probably wondering why these wearables even matter because they’re just avatars, and in a sense “not real”. Well, let me tell you, I personally thought the same, until I tested out the Metaverse, and fashioning our digital identities are in fact as important as the fashioning of our actual and real-life selves.

Metaverse Fashion Week

There was even Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW)  held earlier this year which took place on March 24th 2022 in Decentraland, featuring brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Elie Saab, Imitation of Christ, Nicholas Kirkwood, Dundas, Franck Muller, Jacob & Co, Hogan, amongst many others, and had their virtual stores inside Decentraland’s Metaverse Luxury Shopping District modelled after Avenue Montaigne.

Metaverse Fashion Week Franck Muller Store Interior Decentraland

Franck Muller store Facade Metaverse Fashion Week 2022 Decentraland

Jacob & Co Store Metaverse Fashion Week 2022 Decentraland

This momentous Metaverse event was made possible using exclusive new tech that converts 2D images into 3D experiences where buying virtual clothing by these participating luxury brands would also have the physical twin shipped to you for your IRL self! Yep, the trend of such phygital (physical + digital) experiences are becoming more and more common in the luxury fashion industry, even outside of Metaverse Fashion Week. We saw it done with Hublot as well, where purchasing the Limited Edition Takashi Murakami watch would come with the animated NFT version of the same timepiece. Dolce & Gabbana too, launched an mystery NFT box which would allow the owner to redeem the physical piece of clothing at the D&G stores for free.

Yep, this is how BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) in Web3 works – by allowing  your actual self to ‘twin’ with your digital avatar, making it an all-encompassing extension of the self in the physical to digital realms. Such is the new phenomenon of the Metaluxury, and it is just only just beginning, and along with it, its fair share of new possibilities and challenges.


All images are Bagaddictsanon’s own, from her Metaverse adventures