Since the announcement of Facebook changing to Meta and their vision of building the Metaverse, there has been a lot of buzz created around it. Loosely defined as creative digital environments, where consumers can create their own avatars and immerse themselves into the world of virtual reality where they can work, play, socialise and shop, Metaverse promises new opportunities and potential for brands to explore. In fashion, this creates a whole new world of virtual fashion design.
While so far only the big brands seem to benefit from the concept of virtual fashion design and the Metaverse, this article covers a case study of how small brands can start preparing themselves for the new world of virtual reality. If you are a small brand thinking about entering the world of virtual fashion design, this article covers the basics – what virtual fashion design is, what do you need to know in order to tap into it and how your brand can benefit from it in the future.
What is virtual fashion design and why is it useful?
According to Adobe, virtual fashion design technology, or 3D fashion design, is transforming the way creatives in the apparel, fashion, and luxury (AF&L) industry approach product development, pattern making, fittings, and more. The software that is used for creating 3D clothing allows designers to streamline the design development process, and therefore reducing time and cost. With the help of software such as Adobe Substance 3D or CLO3D, designers and fashion companies are able to create true-to-life garments and collections, perfecting ideas as well as gaining accurate visualisation of the silhouette, fit and fabric in a virtual setting.
Furthermore, virtual samples can be also used for marketing before any physical garments are manufactured. This helps to reduce the overall cost and environmental impact in the lifecycle of a fashion item. When it comes to the sales side of things, digital garment models can help alleviate overproduction problems, thus improving a brand’s sustainability practice.
With its limitless possibilities, fashion designers and artists can use this medium in creating portfolios and collections without any creative boundaries, making it an attractive way of self-expression and a form of art.
Virtual products and fashion garments can be bought in a digital format for use with the customer’s avatars in the Metaverse. A garment designed specifically for digital use only removes the constraints of traditional physical design. As a digital avatar can wear creations that are not restricted to function, fabric, and use.
The commercial benefits of virtual fashion design
When Gucci collaborated with the gaming brand Roblox on “Gucci Town“, this partnership helped the Gucci brand to be exposed to a whole new audience and consumers who are immersed into the virtual world of gaming and the Metaverse. These virtual consumers, mainly Gen Z and tech-savvy, young consumers, are more likely willing to connect with beauty and fashion brands in the real world.
But some smaller brands are also exploring the Metaverse and virtual reality. Last year, an independent designer platform Lone Design Club hosted its first virtual London Fashion Week, allowing its customers to visit and take part in the fashion show from the comfort of their home or office worldwide. Customers were able to shop digital garments right off the runway and after they made the purchase, a physical garment was delivered to them as if they ordered it through Lone’s online store.
Cocoove virtual design example
Independent brand Cocoove recently collaborated with Simian Coates to create a virtual fashion show using Clo3d software. Designer Ria McKelvey’s lace dress design and pattern was applied onto a virtual model, considering every detail as if it was created for the real world including colour, scale and fit.
While virtual fashion design and the Metaverse seem to be far fetched for smaller brands, both will play a significant role in how customers shop and consume products in the future. Is your brand going to be ready?
Written by Ria McKelvey, founder of independent fashion brand Cocoove.
To see the latest Cocoove collection please visit their website here.
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