By Symeon Oshea

The success of Metaverse fashion week proves that legacy fashion brands are betting big on the digital realm.

The virtual fashion market took center stage during the first-ever Metaverse Fashion Week in Decentraland—by NFT marketplace giant UNXD and Vogue Arabia—last week featuring music performances, pop-up shops, and virtual catwalk experiences. NFT clothing collections were showcased by brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Estée Lauder, and Selfridges, who took part in the four-day-long schedule that began on March 24th.

The event marked the beginning of a turning point, whereby the digital realm has officially become a destination for high-end fashion brands. Like a visit to the mall or a dance at a rave, brands can now offer experiences through the internet, all while marketing clothing through meta-commerce, whereby users can buy real life goods within the metaverse. According to reports, the market for wearable goods and virtual fashion is expected to be worth over $55 billion by 2030. 

March 26th marked the world’s most significant digital fashion week runway featuring Dragon City’s Fashion Design Exhibition, which comprised a virtual catwalk, showroom, and exhibition). Dolce & Gabbana and Philipp Plein wrapped up the night. Additional brands in the metaverse lineup included Elie Saab, Roberto Cavalli, Hugo Boss, Etro, Guo Pei, Dundas, and Paco Rabanne.

Shows took place within Decentraland’s new ‘Luxury Fashion District,’ owned by the Metaverse Group. The virtual fashion week took place within a futuristic boulevard with stunning architecture and visual displays. To make it easier for attendees to stay up to date with the schedule, giant virtual billboards were set up to transport users to their selected event space. The fashion week’s agenda was designed to follow its physical counterpart. Hosted by UNXD + Vogue Arabia, the week featured virtual catwalks, exclusive afterparties, pop-up shows, and panel discussions. 

Such an event’s importance lies in providing an opportunity to connect digitally-focused brands with Web3-conscious consumers. Furthermore, as the event was held online, there were no limitations on the audience. Anyone with access to the internet could attend , unlike the invite-only shows that monopolize Paris, Milan, London, and New York, making for more direct exposure for brands and more inclusivity. Digitally-native brands also have a space to showcase and sell their debut collections. As more brands adopt a new digital strategy, experiences within the metaverse will become more and more common. Only time will tell whether or not Metaverse fashion week has the potential to replace in-person runway shows.

Images courtesy of Decentraland

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