Nowadays, consumers are no longer paying for fabric — they're spending hundreds of dollars on virtual clothing that can never actually be worn. Some say that virtual fashion is a part of the NFT wave while others claim it’s just a harmless way to build your wardrobe. But what is this new trend and why is it gaining popularity?
Virtual Clothing On A Rise
Despite being an unusual approach to fashion, virtual clothing can be found in every Instagram and TikTok feed. Outsiders have claimed virtual fashion is part of the NFT trend — after all, users pay hundreds of dollars just to have a piece of clothing appear on social media. Yet, looking at the bigger picture reveals its real intentions and goals. Dhanush Shetty, a 22-year-old product manager based in San Francisco, explained how digital clothing can be easier, cheaper, and even more ethical than clothing made of real fabric: “Usually, when you buy clothes, you have to consider the fit, how it would look in pictures, and, sometimes, how ethical the purchase is. I don’t need to worry about being ‘too big’ for digital fashion or whether [it] was made in a sweatshop."
One of the biggest digital fashion companies is DressX. Launched in August 2020, it has already made waves in the industry thanks to its innovative ideas and multiple collaborations with digital designers. “Our goal is to give every person their digital closet,” said DressX co-founder Natalia Modenova. Modenova and DressX co-founder Daria Shapovalova previously worked in the fashion industry on physical pieces. Since then, they decided to solve the problems they faced in the industry with a more holistic approach. Shapovalova points out that digital fashion gives young designers a chance to launch their careers without spending thousands on materials and promotion.
Dabbling In Digital Fashion
Social media users already use video filters and digital jewelry and gamers use video game skins. So, why can’t someone apply the same concept to their outfits? Soon, everybody will purchase digital clothing, “which you can wear on social media, on still images, on video calls, online conferences, and soon, in gaming and other multiverses,” Shapovalova said.
There are so many features to digital fashion that wouldn’t be able to exist in real life. Virtual pieces don’t follow the laws of gravity or color theory. The pattern on a piece could be animated, for example, with words running through it, thus creating a whole phrase that catches attention.
But how does one purchase and wear a piece like that? First, be aware that prices for digital clothing pieces can vary: some collections can have 100 identical garments, each selling for as low as $20. If the top, dress, or pants are more unique, however, you should expect a higher price. Customers can take a look at the clothing online and then try them on with the help of augmented reality (AR). If they like the piece, they can purchase it and upload a picture of themselves to the website. There, it will be combined with the pieces by a professional editor, who blends the clothing perfectly onto the body. Ta-da! The picture is then ready to appear on social media! While the process usually takes up to five hours, digital fashion creators predict that the technology will evolve to become quicker. Soon, it will be instantaneous.