Fashion has always played a valued role in reflecting society and in a world where technology is seamlessly woven into every aspect of our lives, it's no surprise that it's making a significant impact on the fashion industry as well. This innovative revolution fuses cutting-edge technology with artistic expression. Though the intersection of fashion and technology may at first glance seem unimaginable it exists and is on the rise. This article we will unpack the transformative power digital fashion holds for the industry and how you can be an early adapter.
Image: NFT project World of Women x The Fabricant, digital fashion collection
Digital fashion can have many definitions but in this instance we are highlighting the innovative concept that transcends the traditional boundaries of physical garments and involves creating virtual clothing, accessories, and styles that can be worn, displayed, and shared across various digital platforms. This blend of fashion and technology offers a range of exciting possibilities, from customisable avatars to unique virtual runway experiences, like those seen in the iconic Hanifa Digital Pink Label Capsule Collection, in 2020.
From Physical to Digital
Digital fashion has revolutionised the way we perceive and interact with clothing. By leveraging computer-generated imagery (CGI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), designers can create unique and imaginative garments that exist solely in the digital realm. This shift from physical to digital aka phygital, allows for unparalleled creativity, unrestricted by material limitations, and opens up endless possibilities for personal expression and customisation.
Many designers are catching on to this phygital concept including luxury fashion house Balenciaga, who went viral for their collaboration with the Fortnite video game "Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow." Within the game, players could explore a virtual world and interact with digital fashion pieces created by Balenciaga. Gamers could use digital versions of outfits designed by the brand to style the most popular avatars in the game, which has millions of users around the world.
Image: Balenciaga x Fortnite: Epic Games
Through these collaborations, brands can create unique and immersive experiences, merging the physical and digital worlds to captivate consumers in new and exciting ways. This synergy enables brands to experiment with storytelling, engage with their audiences on a deeper level, and push the boundaries of brand innovation.
Sustainability and Ethical Advantages
One of the best aspects of digital fashion lies in its potential to address the environmental and ethical challenges associated with traditional fashion production. The industry is notorious for its heavy carbon footprint, exploitative labour practices, and excessive waste (we have plenty of articles on this if you want to learn more). Digital fashion offers a more sustainable alternative by reducing the need for physical manufacturing, minimising waste, and lowering carbon emissions. Also, it allows consumers to explore new styles without the need to purchase physical garments, promoting a more conscious and mindful approach to fashion consumption.
Many are opting for digital fashion alternatives, not just because of their intent to be more concious, but as our lives become increasingly intertwined with the digital realm, our identities and modes of self-expression are also evolving. Digital fashion provides a means for people to curate their virtual identities, transcending the limitations of physical appearance and societal expectations. People can experiment with various styles, aesthetics, and personas, creating a sense of empowerment and freedom in self-expression. This merging of fashion and technology has the potential to redefine the relationship between fashion and personal identity in the digital age.
App's like ZERO10 allow creators to convert their 3D designs to AR. Their goal is to support the community of digital creators, giving them access to the technology that will allow them to become more mainstream and democratise digital fashion.
Image: App interface from ZERO10
The rise of digital fashion signifies a paradigm shift in the fashion industry and the world we live in today. As technology continues to advance and our digital lives become more woven with our physical existence, digital fashion will undoubtedly reshape the way we perceive, consume, and engage with clothing. It is an exciting era where imagination knows no bounds, and the fusion of art, technology, and fashion collide.
As showcased by brands like Balenciaga, Gucci and Haifa fashion is no longer confined to traditional threads and fabric; it has embraced the virtual realm. With its environmentally friendly advantages and a renewed focus on creativity, digital fashion is shaping the industry into a more sustainable and inclusive future. As technology continues to evolve, the
boundaries of fashion will expand further, opening up endless possibilities for innovation and self-expression.
Will you be joining the digital fashion revolution?
Written by Jennifer Drumgoole
Edited by Misi Ogunlana
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