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What are the opportunities for Fashion in Web3

By Kristopher Fraser


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Image: Boson Portal x Metaverse Fashion Week
We are in the Web3 renaissance. A quick definition of Web3 is “an online ecosystem based on blockchain.” While blockchain isn’t doing too well right now in terms of the crypto market (cryptocurrency is sinking like the Titanic currently), that doesn’t mean the growth of the metaverse and new social media channels is slowing down.

Some components of Web3 include DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations formed by members of a controlling unit, NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which had a big moment in fashion when they first gained popularity, and last, but certainly not least, the metaverse, a simulated digital environment that mimics real-world interactions.

Web3 could transform the future of fashion

One of the most exciting things about Web3, particularly for independent fashion companies, is the ownership is in the hands of individuals rather than big companies. In a sense, Web3 allows for a true creator economy. Independent designers have been able to find success off of NFTs and creating digital skins for games.

This comes at a much lower cost than trying to produce even small batch collections, which between trying to get multiple sample sets right, manufacturing costs, and shipping can be quite costly. Some designers, like Phoebe Hess, are describing themselves as Web3-first.

The argument has been made that fashion is taking over the metaverse. Once the luxury goods industry caught wind of the power of the Metaverse, it was a domino effect from there.

Earlier this year, an NFT artist created a project of mini-Birkins that cost as little as 200 dollars. Once Hermès caught wind of this, they got NFT platform Opensea to shut it down. The meta-Birkin may have had a short shelf life, but it caused a domino effect for actual luxury brands including Gucci, Balenciaga, and Burberry to hope on the NFT train.

Each of the three aforementioned brands created their own NFT collections for consumers. There was also a metaverse fashion show where avatar models walked the runway.

In March 2022, the first-ever Metaverse Fashion Week, deemed the next era of Fashion Week, took place. New exclusive tech that converted 2D product images into 3D experiences made the event possible. Metaverse Fashion Week was also shoppable where viewers could buy virtual clothes for their avatars.

The acceleration of Web3 is in large part due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The disruption of real life left the web as the only way for us to interact. The idea that we could build an entire life virtually was more of a social media, text, and chat concept, but the metaverse became an entirely new digital universe.

Although it is questionable how many customers the metaverse can get to spend on clothes only their avatars can wear, as we live our lives more online, the idea of dressing up your avatar to exist as this other you in a world isn’t so farfetched. Physical clothing will always be the bread-and-butter of most fashion brands, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a whole new market in Web3.