New York Fashion Week Gets New Digital Expansions
New York Fashion Week begins next weekend, February 11th to 16th, and the hype for it begins. With the rising curiosity for the Metaverse and the digital world, many advancements have been made to NYFW.
Digital Fashion Week New York (DFWNY), for example, is exploring the future of fashion by creating its own virtual experience. The event will run alongside traditional NYFW, February 11-13, and include virtual and physical runway shows, screenings, panels, and workshops.
The organization describes itself to act as “an axis for the spokes of innovation in the fashion industry.” Founder, Clare Tattersall, furthered this idea by saying that “innovation in fashion is creating new looks, challenging convention and questioning what our clothes mean to us.” In bridging the worlds of fashion and technology, the events are setting precedence for the future of fashion and how the industry can work in the Metaverse. The shows are meant to tackle topics for the future of fashion and explore the potential of digital expansion. There will also be discussions and looks into the growing NFT industry and how that will include the fashion industry.
The designers set to attend are skilled in their fields and plan to showcase their digital design skills too. The event challenges to work with independent designers, really bringing forth the future of fashion. Designers such as Adam Reid, Ilona Song, Lorena Bello, Aisha, Maya Es, Erin McGarry, Shiu Studio, and more. Visitors will be able to watch virtual runway shows, meet top designers in digital fashion and shop their respective boutiques. The event will also have the opportunity to ride a virtual hot air balloon above the fashion show, with music from DJ Cherish the Luv.
In addition to Digital Fashion Week New York, the “buy now, pay later” platform, Afterpay will provide their own NYFW experiences in partnership with the organization. The experience will highlight the future of fashion in the digital world, while also “democratizing fashion and celebrating the future of retail,” as said by Nick Molnar, co-founder and Co-CEO of Afterpay. This extension will occur from February 11th to 16th, as traditional NYFW will, and will provide immersive experiences as well as ‘see now, buy now’ collections. In an even further attempt to broaden the scope of fashion, Afterpay also brings NYFW to the West Coast in free consumer experiences there during the week of February.
Not only is NYFW getting its own expansions into digital, but Metaverse platform Decentraland is also hosting its own Fashion Week starting March 24th. The event will partner will many global brands and include virtual experience fashion shows, live music sessions, opportunities to buy and wear digital clothing directly from the runway, and the presence of showrooms, stores, talks, and events. Brands such as Hugo recently signed their partnership, making it one of the first to announce participation since the event’s first announcement in December 2021.’
This expansion will truly explore the facets of the Metaverse and how fashion can sneak its way through. Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) is an inaugural event offering brands, and consumers, the opportunity to trial the technology of the virtual world. Virtual avatars will walk the runways instead of your typical model. Some of the avatars will be shoppable and wearable, meaning people can wear the digital pieces in Decentraland on their avatar. Some collections will have a physical twin garment that can be sold or kept and redeemed (if possible), replicating the ideas of NFTs.
The rise in the digital world has brought a lot of concern to the future of the fashion industry, especially so with in-person work. With growing curiosity and popularity of the Metaverse, the industry faces this grand opportunity to grow with the younger consumers. In hopes for the success of both DFWNY and MVFW, it is possible we’ll see more expansion of fashion into the virtual world.