According to a recent forecast from the technology consulting and research firm Technavio, the market share value of the Metaverse would reach $50.37 billion by the year 2026. That the trillion-dollar fashion business has recently been quite interested in the Metaverse shouldn’t be a surprise.
A few initiatives have begun integrating their communities into the Metaverse, while the majority of luxury labels and businesses continue to concentrate on developing nonfungible tokens (NFTs) to imitate items.
For instance, on September 5, Vogue Singapore introduced “Vogue Singapore’s New World,” a Web3 community focused on fashion. Natasha Damodaran told Cointelegraph that while Vogue Singapore has previously expressed interest in NFTs by tokenizing its September 2021 cover, the magazine has gone a step further by developing a virtual experience that embodies the subject of “Fashion’s New World.” According to Damodaran, the platform enables its members to engage with a variety of content and images.
“Vogue Singapore’s New World currently allows users to explore a surrealism-inspired realm featuring a welcome video from Vogue’s September 2022 cover star and supermodel Lina Zhang. Users can also experience an AI-generated beauty shoot called Bio RESONANCE by artist Terry Gates, along with digital couture by Beijing-based designer Yimeng Yu created exclusively for Vogue Singapore.”
According to Damodaran, Spatial.io, a Metaverse platform that specializes in 3D spaces, powers Vogue’s metaverse. A company that specializes in NFTs, Polycount.io, also created the virtual environment.
Mobile devices, desktop computers, and virtual reality headsets may all access Vogue Singapore’s Metaverse, according to Gianna Valintina, head of marketing at Spatial (VR). She noted that users who visit the New World can build a unique avatar that can then be adorned in two wearable designs by fashion designer Yimeng Yu that are available only on Vogue. Damodaran added that readers can interact with the September cover of Vogue Singapore while reading other pieces of content related to the photographs.
Valintina emphasized that while Vogue Singapore’s New World offers users a more engaging way to see and read information, it also enables companies and communities to create better experiences. In fact, according to Damodaran, the Metaverse gives labels the chance to reach new markets while exhibiting their innovation and skill.“For Vogue, that means connecting the fashion community and introducing them to Web3 and vice-versa while still creating avenues of engagement that are relevant on digital platforms,” she said.
Although this idea is still novel, Yu, who produced the two pieces of digital couture for the platform, found it appealing. According to Yu, the growth of online life and the development of digital technology in the post-epidemic age have created new prospects for the fashion business.
“Digital technologies and Intelligent production are innovating the fashion design paradigm, production process, display method, retailing path and user experience within the fashion industry. In both designer creativity and user experience perspective, the Metaverse brings the fashion industry endless possibilities.”
According to Steven Kold, CEO of The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), new opportunities include the CFDA’s decision to open an exhibition in the Metaverse in order to increase the influence of American fashion globally: “As we were mulling ways to mark our 60th anniversary, we decided it had to be future-facing, and an exhibition in the Metaverse was a perfect way to honor our past with an eye to what’s next.”
Kold stated that he expects that the CFDA’s debut into the Metaverse will reach new audiences and pique interest in American fashion and designers, much like Vogue Singapore did: “Because it’s in the Metaverse, individuals don’t need to travel to see the exhibition, but can enjoy it from the comfort
of their own home.”
Kold revealed that a retrospective of the last 60 years of American fashion, as wellas a collection of commemorative NFTs up for sale with the proceeds going to the CFDA Foundation, will be held to celebrate the CFDA’s debut into Web3.The Sandbox is set to host the exhibition when it debuts in December 2022.
Kold emphasized that although this is the CFDA’s initial foray into Web3, the company has not yet launched a formal platform. Kold stated that the CFDA’s etaverse show is a “test and learn” for the organization, despite the fact that Vogue Singapore’s Metaverse project is anticipated to expand.“The CFDA will start building its Web3 community while it onboards its current Web2 base. This will help us slowly build toward a larger Metaverse community and experience for American fashion,” he said.
Nevertheless, bringing the CFDA community together in the Metaverse is a first for fashion, according to Akbar Hamid, founder and CEO of 5Crypto, the creative consultancy behind the project.“This is a great way to raise awareness and interest for fashion amongst the Gen Z audience while bringing an older audience into the Metaverse. This is also an opportunity to engage Metaverse creators to work alongside iconic fashion designers and curators to reimagine visionary style and design in a voxelized environment,” he said.
Will the Metaverse be appealing to the fashion communities?
The next stage for certain initiatives may be to encourage fashion-focused communities to participate in the Metaverse, but it’s still unknown how people will respond to this. For instance, while Vogue Singapore’s New World is innovative, the publisher’s audience may not immediately connect with the idea. While brands on the Metaverse tend to have a greater relationship with their customers, Brian Trunzo, the metaverse head for Polygon Studios, said that media outlets are still striving to better comprehend this:
“Media is still trying to figure out how to use Web3 tools to engage an audience and convert them from consumers into community members or, in the best instance, super fans. Even those who succeeded at this in Web2 are finding it difficult as converting one from Instagram to a DAO [decentralized autonomous organization] member or NFT holder is no easy task.”
However, within a week of the platform’s launch, according to Jinha Lee, co-founder and chief product officer of Spatial, users had logged more than four million minutes on New World. “Seeing this demonstrates that a large majority of people have been enjoying the space during Vogue Singapore’s launch,” he said.
Although this statistic is interesting, Justin Banon, co-founder of the metaverse commerce protocol Boson Protocol, which focuses on digital and physical fashion, told Cointelegraph that, as with any new technology, there will initially be a period where users visit the platform merely for speculative purposes rather than with a strong desire to do much else. However, Banon thinks that initiatives like the one being started by Vogue Singapore will eventually have an impact on the broader fashion and media business, even though adoption might be slow:
“When we ask whether more fashion magazines will want to enter the Metaverse moving forward, I believe the only conclusion to come to is yes. It’s a new space, brimming with innovation and authenticity, concepts that the world of fashion has prided itself on since its inception, so the Metaverse is the next logical step forward. I don’t believe that there will be a single fashion magazine that won’t have adopted Web3 and the metaverse in some shape or form in the future.”